The Whole-Person Approach to Child and Teen Treatment

The Whole-Person Approach to Child and Teen Treatment

Recovery and treatment may be a difficult transition for children and teens, especially when working with people they have never met or have grown trust with. For both mental health and substance abuse treatment plans, Roots Recovery implements a “whole-person” approach to care and treatment. This may help ease the stress of transition for children and teens. 

What Is the ‘Whole-Person’ Approach?

At Roots Recovery, every client’s treatment plan is specialized to the individual, even if group work is incorporated into the plan. By specializing their plan, the client is cared for entirely. Each of their symptoms, concerns, and worries is worked on.

The “whole-person” approach to treatment involves creating a deep connection between the mind, body, and spirit. Many individuals find themselves dealing with a broken connection between these three things. This treatment approach helps re-develop that.  

What Are the Specific Plans Implemented?

Roots Recovery offers a multitude of treatments and services to aid this “whole-person” approach, including the following.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on exploring the person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. A therapist works with the client to uncover unhealthy thought patterns and how these lead to self-destructive behaviors or beliefs. This helps the client understand their thought pattern, eventually leading to them breaking habits and patterns. By doing this, they restructure their beliefs and behaviors. 

Spiritual Exploration

Spiritual exploration can be complex, especially for children and teens. However, spiritual exploration involves a deeper understanding of the self and their relationship with the world around them. Themes such as love, friendship, and transitioning may be brought up during spiritual exploration practices. 

Spiritual exploration encourages children and teens to develop the strength and courage to live and lead the life they choose, not being confined to their minds. Through exploring spirituality, they can find a new meaning in their lives, providing hope. 

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation help reduce stress and encourages relaxation in the individual. It can also help manage anxiety, stress, depression, pain, or withdrawal symptoms. 

Implementing mindfulness and meditation in the “whole-person” treatment approach encourages individuals to develop healthy coping mechanisms that connect them to their minds. They develop an understanding of what eases their minds and can connect with themselves on a deeper level.

Experiential Groups

Experiential groups – such as drumming or art therapy – build a community among those in the session in a creative way. In these groups, clients can express themselves in a physical manner. 

Expressing emotions through actions can often lead to behavioral concerns. However, through a more artistic and creative expression, these groups encourage healthy behavior to express emotions. Likewise, expressing emotions in a healthy way helps the client understand their feelings and why they feel the need to behave in a certain, often self-destructive manner. 

Other experiential groups at Roots Recovery include the following.


In improv groups, clients learn how to heal through more positive emotions and actions, such as laughter. Improv furthers a client’s empathy and emotional intelligence as well. This eventually applies to their relationships both in the group and in their external lives with family or friends. 

Narrative Music

The narrative music group at Roots Recovery encourages expression through song lyrics. In turn, this helps regulate the client’s emotions. Narrative music groups are focused on the client’s relationship with the recovery process and self-expression.

Creative Writing Groups

Similarly, creative writing groups encourage self-expression in the written form. Clients are given a topic to write about and share if they want to. Free writing opportunities are also given to clients for them to express themselves further outside of prompts. 

Movement-Based Therapies

Movement-based therapies revolve around developing strength and balance to improve physical health and overall mood. This therapeutic approach encourages clients to understand their bodies and create a mind-to-muscle connection. Introducing a new relationship between the body and mind helps individuals feel stable within themselves and feel secure and in control. 

How Children and Teens Benefit From a ‘Whole-Person’ Approach

Since entering treatment can induce stress or fear, especially among children and teens, creating a treatment plan where their entire well-being is valued can help ease this tension before starting. Likewise, the “whole-person” treatment approach invites more trust between the client and those they are working with.

Repairing connections within the self by utilizing a “whole-person” approach also helps create better relationships externally. For children and teens, this connection is often repaired with family and friends once finding balance within the self. 

The specific programs incorporated into the “whole-group” treatment approach at Roots Recovery help children and teens create healthy relationships within themselves first, on a physical, mental, and emotional level. These practices can be implemented outside of treatment as well. 

By incorporating these into daily life, even after transitioning out of treatment, children and teens develop a new understanding of the control they have over themselves and their lives. They have a better understanding of the self and can create a life they want to live from there on out. 

Here at Roots Recovery, we find the importance of offering children and teens services that are useful both in and outside of the treatment plan designed for them. We emphasize the importance of the “whole-person” approach, where the individual develops a deeper and stronger connection between their mind, body, and soul. This is valuable to implement in children and teen programs as they begin to develop a greater sense of understanding of the self. In understanding the self, they can understand how their brain processes certain events. These programs can be incorporated into their daily lives, improving their relationships with themselves and loved ones. Call Roots Recovery at (562) 473-0827 to learn more about our services. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


“I am so grateful to be an alumni of Roots. Roots took me from my darkest of places, to the brightest and most beautiful part of life I've ever lived. They genuinely care about their clients. You will not be a number or a paycheck here. After discharging in February, I still receive help and words of wisdom whenever needed. Roots helped me battle things I'd been struggling with for over 14 years and finally put them behind me. I love roots with all my heart, and always will.”


“Just got 365 days sober today all thanks to these people at Roots. And saved my marriage.”


“It's great to see such a high quality of care program in Long Beach! The entire staff shows great care and compassion for their clients. The therapists are among the best around. Their admissions and case management is compassionate and driven to help you succeed! If your looking for help with trauma or substance abuse, this is the place for help!”


“Very serene setting, you feel right at home when you walk in. The staff are super nice and really care about their clients.”


“The most compassionate and knowledgeable staff! Roots Through Recovery offers the best addiction care and treatment available. They use multiple disciplines to cater to a wide variety of clients. Music therapy, art name it, Roots has it! Do yourself a kindness and check them out. You'll be glad you did.”