In her program Healing Young People Thru Empowerment (H.Y.P.E.), counselor Adia McClellan Winfrey helps troubled teens by incorporating hip-hop into therapy. In a typical session, participants recite the H.Y.P.E. creed, briefly discuss the topic of the week, turn in their journal reflections from the previous week, and then begin listening to music. After listening to each track, the participants discuss the message behind the song’s lyrics. The participants relate this message to their own lives, using the music as a way to reflect on their problems. According to one of the participants, “the music makes me feel like opening up because I know what [the rapper] went through and where they’re at today. It makes me feel like I can make it through too”.
I think that hip-hop therapy is an excellent idea, and I truly believe that this program can help many teens today. It is often difficult to open up and talk about personal issues, but I think that listening to somebody else do this in a hip-hop track can definitely make it easier. When you hear a song and can relate to the artist’s problems, it encourages you and makes you feel less alone. This is why I think that hip-hop is definitely a great tool that people can use to help them discuss and ultimately work through their issues.
Here is the link to the website for H.Y.P.E. The article that I read is in the middle of the home page. Enjoy!