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The Importance of Holistic Therapy for Mental Health

a teen practices mindfulness after learning about holistic therapy for mental health

Holistic therapy for mental health is an approach that considers the whole person, including their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Instead of focusing on one specific issue or symptom, a holistic therapy program takes into account all aspects of an individual’s life to promote overall health and well-being.

The Teen Mental Health Crisis

In 2018–2019, 20% of American youth 12–17 seriously considered suicide.1 Young people are experiencing higher rates of mental health issues than any generation before them. The fast pace of life, combined with social media pressure, academic demands, and societal issues like poverty, environmental change, and racism, has contributed to this alarming trend.

Generational trauma is also contributing to the youth mental health crisis. As Gen X and millennial parents struggle to cope with the changing world and their own mental health, they may inadvertently pass on their stress and unresolved issues to their children. This can create a cycle of mental health struggles within families.

A Whole-Person Healing Approach

Mental health conditions affect every aspect of life. Every teen views the world around them from a unique perspective, filtered by their own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and experiences. When someone lives with a mental health condition, it can dim or distort their perspective, making it difficult to function and thrive in daily life.

A holistic approach to mental health therapy recognizes that each teen is a complex, interconnected being. Teens worry about more than they may show, caring about what is beyond their school or family. What happens in the world to their friends and peers can affect how they feel and function. The major difference is that they haven’t developed the coping skills that help manage emotions and stress, especially when it stems from a mental health condition.

Treating the Whole Person

Holistic therapy programs may include a variety of treatments and techniques. Evidence-based and experiential methods can be combined to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses all aspects of an individual’s well-being. This may include:

  • Talk therapy (psychotherapy) addresses emotional and cognitive patterns
  • Exercise and movement improve physical health and release tension in the body
  • Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or yoga, promote self-awareness and inner peace
  • Nutritional counseling addresses the impact of diet on mental health
  • Art, music therapy, or other creative outlets can provide a means of expression and healing
  • Animal-assisted therapy can help individuals build trust, empathy, and social skills

Some teens undergoing mental health treatment may also benefit from medication management. Prescription antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications can help regulate brain chemistry and alleviate their symptoms.

The Family First Model Helps Teens Move Forward

The Family First team takes a holistic approach to teen mental health treatment. With more than 120 years of combined clinical experience, we understand that every teen requires their own unique approach to healing. Our model incorporates talk therapy, communication, family involvement, experiential methods, academic support, and continuing care when treatment ends.

Teens who complete our program leave with a greater understanding of themselves, their mental health condition, and how to manage it in healthy ways. Our goal is not just symptom management; we strive for long-term healing and growth. We believe that by treating the whole person, we can help teens build a strong foundation for lifelong mental wellness.

Call Family First Adolescent Treatment Services Now

If your teen is struggling with their mental health, you are not alone. The Family First team is here to support and guide you and your family toward healing and recovery. Contact us online or at 888.904.5947 today and start building a plan to help your teen move forward.


  1. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US) – 2022 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report