101 Hip Hop Therapy

A Culturally Responsive Approach to Trauma Treatment

You’ve probably heard of expressive arts therapy. But did you know there’s an expressive arts form that builds rapport quickly, resonates with diverse client populations, and has been shown to help heal trauma? We’re talking, of course, about Hip Hop. For almost half a century, the culture of Hip Hop has served a therapeutic function for listeners, witnesses, and participants. It’s also reached people where, historically, talk therapy has not. With roots in progressive social movements and political protest, its messages transcend geography, race, ethnicity, and class. First developed in the mid-90s, Hip Hop Therapy (HHT) embraces the therapeutic function of Hip Hop in its power to jumpstart personal and communal transformation. In this workshop, you’ll explore: 

  • The basics of HHT and how it overlaps with several well-established treatment modalities, including CBT, DBT, narrative therapy, and expressive arts therapy 
  • A trauma-informed approach to HHT, including top-down and bottom-up strategies 
  • How rhythm and rhyme facilitate self-regulation, co-regulation, bilateral stimulation, and traumatic processing 
  • The art of rapping, with an introduction to lyric-writing and the intricacies of rhyming 

 J.C. Hall, LMSW, EXAT, is a Hip Hop artist and social worker who runs the Hip Hop Therapy Studio program at Mott Haven Community High School, a “second-chance” transfer school in the South Bronx. His work is chronicled in the award-winning short documentary Mott Haven. In 2020, Hall was a recipient of the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service. 


Join Us For Psychotherapy's Most Celebrated Gathering March 10-13, 2022
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November 16, 2021
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