Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Child and Adolescent Therapy in Dayton, OH

Thomas Packard, Ph.D.

Pediatric Psychologist Dayton, OH (11)

What is a pediatric psychologist, and how is that different from a child psychologist?

Pediatric psychologists such as myself are very similar to other child psychologists. However, we are more likely to work in pediatric medical settings than in mental health clinics, and to consult more frequently with pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists than with psychiatrists.

We usually focus more on developing healthy patterns of behavior than on “mental illness”. Pediatric psychologists are often more likely to be trained in behavioral therapies based on scientific research than in methods based on traditional notions about unconscious  motivation and inner conflict.

Where is your practice located?

My office is located at 5450 Far Hills Avenue, right at the border between Centerville and
Dayton. I share space with a large pediatric practice, Pediatric Associates of Dayton, though my practice is a separate entity.

What age range do you see?

I see children and teenagers up to the age of 18. Of course, with very young children the child will be less directly involved, and I will work more exclusively with parents. However, I often consult with parents of young toddlers and even infants. I will see adolescents who have turned 18 on a short-term basis as long as they are in high school and living at home, or if they are about to make the transition to college or another independent setting.

 

Do both parents need to attend appointments?

My preference is that both parents attend appointments whenever possible. However, I understand that work and other commitments can make that difficult, and it is certainly ok for only one parent to attend. I find it most helpful if there is one parent who is always there, as this makes for better continuity than if sometimes one parent attends and sometimes the other.

What about divorced parents?

In cases of divorce, I am happy to work on whatever basis you find most comfortable. I prefer to meet with both parents, and with any involved step-parents. If ex-spouses are not comfortable meeting together I am happy to meet separately. Sometimes one parent prefers not to be involved at all, and that is their choice – I cannot do anything to compel a parent to meet with me.

 

Do you see parents in individual therapy?

No. I work extensively with adults in their roles as parents, but I am not trained in adult therapy, and do not see adults for adult issues.

When are appointments available?

Right now appointments are available from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Mondays and
Wednesdays, and from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays. These hours are subject to change, but have been stable for the last several years.

How long do sessions last, and how often do they occur?

Appointments are 45 to 50 minutes. I generally try to meet weekly for the first few sessions, but then often meet every other week, or sometimes at longer intervals, as the focus shifts more to your work at home implementing the changes we discuss in the sessions.

Do you offer a free phone consultation?

If you are not sure if my services are appropriate for your family, I am happy to do a 10 to 15 minute consultation by phone to answer your questions.

Do you prescribe medication?

No. I am not a physician, and cannot prescribe medication. If I feel that your child is
experiencing a problem for which some kind of medication might be helpful, I will talk with you about why I think so, and discuss options for obtaining medical consultation, usually starting with your child’s regular doctor. Of course, whether or not your child should take medication for any kind of problem (including physical illness) is a decision that only you can make, after talking to your child’s physician.

Do you take insurance?

I am not a member of most insurance networks, though I do participate with Aetna and Multiplan. Other insurance companies may cover part of my services as an out-of-network provider, but I will not be able to tell you if that is true in your case. You will have to contact  the insurance company directly.

Please feel free to contact me if your question is not answered here or elsewhere on the website. I am here to help.