Dr. Phyllis J. Heffner, MD?
Update this Profile
Dr. Phyllis J. Heffner, MD, Psychiatrist
Verified Doctor
We verify the medical license of each FindaTopDoc Verified Doctor to ensure that their license is active and they are in good medical standing.

Dr. Phyllis J. Heffner, MD

Adolescent Psychiatrist | Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

10801 Hickory Ridge Rd Ste 215 Columbia MD, 21044


Phyllis Heffner, MD, is board-certified in both general and child and adolescent psychiatry. She is a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. She is also an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner and works with people who have symptoms of either mental health, physical health conditions, or a combination of both. She is one of very few physicians who practice functional and integrative psychiatry for people of all ages. Although she can and does prescribe medication, medication management is not the primary focus of her practice. The goal is to not just treat symptoms but find the underlying cause of the symptoms. Everything in the body affects the brain and the brain affects everything in the body.  

Complete and proper diagnosis is the first step in achieving wellness; to accomplish this a very detailed history (which could include physical or neurological exam), as well as various forms of testing, are often needed. Treatments can include the use of advanced nutrient therapy, lifestyle and dietary modification, detoxification, the use of various medications or supplements, neurofeedback, frequency-specific microcurrent, photobiomodulation/cold laser, PEMF, hyperbaric oxygen, and other options. Dr. Heffner has a special interest in the biomedical treatment of autism, PANS/PANDAS, mold/CIRS, Lyme and co-infections, autoimmune diseases, thyroid and gastrointestinal dysfunction, which can often be related to the more common mental health conditions of depression, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, bipolar disorder, and psychosis.

Education and Training

Penn State Hershey Medical Center 1986

Board Certification

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (Psychiatry and Neurology)

Provider Details

Female English
Dr. Phyllis J. Heffner, MD
Dr. Phyllis J. Heffner, MD's Expert Contributions
  • Is it normal to cry during a panic attack?

    It is common with panic attacks. She needs help to address the reasons for the panic attacks and hopefully reduce or eliminate them. READ MORE

  • How do I manage my daughter's anxiety?

    There are many options - working with you or a therapist about learning coping/calming skills (such as deep breathing, visualizations about positive things, exercise, Tapping/Emotional Freedom Technique, Meditation) can be very helpful. Working on developing positive self talk to counteract the anxious thoughts. Some supplements can also help, such as GABA, 5-HTP, L-Theanine are examples. If she is severely affected, a professional should be consulted. READ MORE

  • My daughter threw around the term "demisexual" the other day. What does this mean?

    A demisexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone. READ MORE

  • Why is my son so angry?

    Without knowing more, I cannot give a specific answer, but there are definitely possibilities which can include hormonal changes as he enters puberty, being bullied or having had another trauma, peer drama or relationship problems, family stresses. It may be helpful to talk with him about this or consult with a professional READ MORE

  • Why does my daughter only write about death?

    This is potentially a real concern and could mean she is either depressed or even having suicidal thoughts. Talk with her about how she is feeling and do not hesitate to seek professional help. READ MORE

  • My daughter is addicted to her phone. What can I do?

    This is such a common issue with not only teens but even adults and younger children; screens are addictive! Setting up guidelines about how much she can use the phone and having her earn time by doing other more interactive/social or appropriate activities may be helpful. Discussing with her the dangers of excessive phone use may or may not work. Work on your relationship with her. It is not unreasonable to make phone use at or after certain times (such as bedtime, homework and mealtimes) forbidden. READ MORE

  • Why is my daughter so nervous most of the time?

    There are so many reasons a child can become very nervous. Some are very serious - an undisclosed trauma or a medical condition and need to be evaluated by a physician who looks at her as a whole person. Others can be temperamental (inborn) or due to a form of anxiety disorder. Working with a therapist or child psychiatrist is recommended READ MORE

  • Why is my daughter not talking?

    Has she had a trauma or something else in her life changed? This could be a sign of adolescence or something more serious..She should be evaluated by a mental health professional who uses a holistic approach to rule out both physical and emotional factors for this change in behavior READ MORE

  • My daughter still continues to be hyperactive. What should I do?

    Yes, it is worth having her evaluated by a professional to see if there is either a medical condition, depression, anxiety or something such as ADHD READ MORE

  • Why doesn't my son want to make friends?

    It can be a sign of low self-esteem, depression, being bullied or just being an introvert. Talk with him about your concerns and if not comfortable with his responses consult a professional READ MORE

  • My daughter is prone to hormonal depression. What can I do?

    She could have a copper-zinc imbalance or even a more serious condition called PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). A very healthy diet, regular exercise, sleep are all helpful, as is possibly looking at her hormones to see if she has an imbalance that could be addressed either through nutritional supplements or medications may be indicated READ MORE

  • Can I do anything to stop my child from wetting the bed?

    New onset bedwetting can be from numerous causes - a urinary tract infection, a trauma, a medical illness, toxins, medications. He should be evaluated at a minimum by his Pediatrician to rule out obvious medical causes READ MORE

  • Can you self diagnose bipolar disorder in teenagers?

    No - this takes a full evaluation by a trained Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist; there are many underlying causes of symptoms that can mimic Bipolar Disorder READ MORE

  • My daughter is depressed about her speech problems

    EIther a good adolescent therapist or child/adolescent psychiatrist can work with her about her self esteem and depression. READ MORE

  • How to help daughter who was bullied for being overweight?

    Working on developing her self esteem and looking at her strengths; not focusing on physical appearance but character and abilities. Positive self talk, use of affirmations. Develop (with her) a move to a healthy lifestyle (don't focus on losing weight or calories) which includes healthy real foods (not processed and avoiding high carbohydrates), at least 8 hours of sleep nightly, regular daily movement (in a form she enjoys) and stress management. If she does not respond, she should see a therapist. READ MORE

  • What is the most common anxiety disorder in children?

    There are numerous forms of anxiety disorders - separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, Panic Disorders, Phobia and a combination of the above. READ MORE

  • My son has become reliant on taking Tylenol?

    Tylenol is very dangerous as it can cause liver damage. It should not be used long term nor in high doses. This needs to be stopped; if he is unwilling you need to get a professional involved. READ MORE

  • Can a psychologist treat mental disorders?

    Yes, depending on what the mental disorder is READ MORE

  • What is the first step after an autism diagnosis?

    I strongly recommend finding and working with a doctor who uses a Biomedical Approach, ideally trained through MAPS (Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs) as well as contacting TACA (Talk about Curing Autism) READ MORE

  • Why is my 16 year old always sleeping?

    Does he have depression or another medical condition or is he sleep deprived or have a sleep disorder? This should be evaluated by a qualified professional. READ MORE

Areas of expertise and specialization

Mental health conditions of depression, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, Bipolar Disorder and psychosis.Gastrointestinal DysfunctionThyroid DisordersAutoimmune DiseasesLyme and Co-infectionsMold/CIRSPANS/PANDASBiomedical Treatment of AutismHyperbaric Oxygen TherapyPEMF/ OndamedPhotobiomodulation/Cold LaserFrequency Specific Microcurrent,LORETA Neurofeedbackmedications or supplementsDetoxificationLifestyle and Dietary modificationAdvanced Nutrient Therapy

Faculty Titles & Positions

  • Medical Director; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Child Psychiatry Day Hospital/Children's National Medical Center 15 - 23

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association  
  • American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry  
  • Institute of Functional Medicine  
  • International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society  
  • International Hyperbaric Medical Association  
  • ISEAI  
  • NAEM  
  • AARM  
  • MAPS  


  • Walsh Research Institute  
  • Baltimore; Functional Medicine Training at the Institute for Functional Medicine  
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at University of Maryland  

Charities and Philanthropic Endeavors

  • St. Paul's Episcopal Church;


  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • University of Maryland, Baltimore (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship)

Professional Society Memberships

  • American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The Institute for Functional Medicine, International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, The International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness, The National Association for Environmental Management, International Hyperbaric Medical Association

Dr. Phyllis J. Heffner, MD's Practice location

Holistic Child Psychiatry, LLC

10801 Hickory Ridge Rd Ste 215 -
Columbia, MD 21044
Get Direction
New patients: 410-260-0344

Dr. Phyllis J. Heffner, MD's reviews

Write Review
Women in Medicine

Media Releases

Get to know Psychiatrist Dr. Phyllis J. Heffner, who serves patients in Columbia, Maryland. 

Dr. Heffner is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in holistic and integrative strategies to treat both mental and physical health conditions. As such, she is trained and understands that mental health challenges are related to physical, psychological, and social factors. 

As the owner of Holistic Child Psychiatry, LLC in Columbia, Maryland, Dr. Heffner’s goal is to help each patient improve their functioning in order to reach their highest potential so that they can thrive and be happy. “The integrative treatment plan is individualized based on this initial evaluation and can include nutritional and dietary modification, herbs and nutritional supplements, lifestyle changes, stress reduction/mind-body techniques, biofeedback, essential oils, biomedical treatment of physical health problems, psychiatric medication, detoxification treatments, and other integrative methods. I always strive to reduce, and possibly even be able to eventually discontinue, the use of prescription medication as health is restored.” as stated by the doctor. 

Before embarking on her journey of professional fulfillment, Dr. Heffner earned her medical degree from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 1986. She then went on to complete her residency in general psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, followed by her fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Hospital Joint Training Program. She is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner as of April of 2018 and uses Functional Medicine and Integrative Psychiatry principals to treat both physical and mental health conditions.

“I transitioned to integrative, functional medicine after developing a chronic autoimmune disease, and later Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome from mold exposure, that was not able to be adequately diagnosed or treated by conventional medicine. My goal is to pass on the knowledge I gained in helping to heal myself to my patients by applying integrative, holistic methods to physical and mental health conditions” as stated by Dr. Heffner.

A Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the doctor is double board-certified in general psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to promoting high-quality patient care for the public through the initial and continuing certification of psychiatrists and neurologists.

Additionally, she is a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Institute for Functional Medicine, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness, the National Association for Environmental Medicine, the International Hyperbaric Medical Association, the American Academy for Restorative Medicine, Integrative Medicine for Mental Health, the Maryland Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Maryland Psychiatric Society, and the Medical Academy for Pediatric Special Needs. 

Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental disorders. These include various maladaptations related to mood, behavior, cognition, and perceptions. Psychiatrists evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. They conduct thorough psychiatric evaluations, develop treatment plans, prescribe medication, and evaluate treatment results. The addition of her Functional Medicine training enables Dr. Heffner to look for the underlying causes of many physical and mental health conditions deeply, using both standard and specialized testing.  Examples of some of the deeper causes include Digestive Disorders, Endocrine Disorders, Chronic Infections such as Lyme Disease, Mold/Mycotoxin Illness, PANS/PANDAS. She uses both conventional and integrative therapies such as LORETA Neurofeedback, Frequency Specific Microcurrent, Hyperbaric Oxygen, Detoxification, and Advanced Nutrient Therapy to help the whole person heal. Her practice is Beyond Conventional Psychiatry.

Recommended Articles

  • Choosing the Right Education for Your Autistic Child

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can cause issues in crucial areas of development, such as social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, creative and imaginative play, and sensory processing.Children with ASD may have difficulty understanding and communicating their needs and wants to...

  • Depression Medications and Their Side Effects

    Regardless of the importance of non-medical treatment options for depression like talk therapy and physical exercise, none of them can be as quick and effective as medication. The primary form of medication for depression is antidepressants which help boost brain activity and alleviate depression...

  • What Is Disorganized Schizophrenia?

    Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder involving a breakdown that drastically affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. The disorder has five subtypes, one of which is disorganized schizophrenia. Its very name implies the typical and predominant characteristics by which it is identified:...

  • Symptoms of Atypical Depression

    Depression is usually signified by extended moods of sadness and a generally low mood even when events occur that should normally lift someone’s spirits. Patients generally ignore all positive stimuli, preferring to remain in a cocoon irrespective of external circumstances. At one stage, the loss...

  • Autism and Its Additional Complications

    Since autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, there are a variety of different symptoms. Different children with ASD will have different reactions, symptoms, and complications on different levels. Typically, autism impairs social and communication skills; however, the...

  • 5 Tips For Parenting an Anxious Child

    As children grow, they go through several emotional and mental transformations. Some children become too shy to confront another person, while others become too mischievous. However, it becomes difficult for parents to determine their children’s behavior when they react unexpectedly to a...

Nearest Hospitals



Head west 182 ft
Turn left 113 ft
Turn right onto Cedar Lane 1321 ft
Turn right 470 ft
Turn left 449 ft
Turn left 118 ft
You have arrived at your destination



Head west 182 ft
Turn left 113 ft
Turn right onto Cedar Lane 505 ft
Turn right onto Hickory Ridge Road 1.2 mi
Turn right onto Broken Land Parkway 2.9 mi
Take the ramp 1515 ft
Merge left onto Patuxent Freeway (MD 32) 1.1 mi
Take the ramp on the right towards I 95 South: Washington 3126 ft
Merge left onto I 95 5.0 mi
Keep right at the fork towards MD 200 East: Konterra Drive 1.1 mi
Take the ramp on the right towards Konterra Drive 1760 ft
Turn right onto Konterra Drive 3365 ft
Turn left onto Van Dusen Road 2059 ft
Turn left onto Contee Road 1041 ft
Turn right 615 ft
Turn right 194 ft
You have arrived at your destination, on the left



Head west 182 ft
Turn left 113 ft
Turn right onto Cedar Lane 4411 ft
Turn left onto Harpers Farm Road 1.1 mi
Turn left onto Clarksville Pike (MD 108) 6.8 mi
Continue straight onto Ashton Road (MD 108) 2.4 mi
Continue straight onto Olney Sandy Spring Road (MD 108) 2.6 mi
Turn right onto Prince Philip Drive 1251 ft
Turn right 559 ft
Turn left 270 ft
You have arrived at your destination, on the right