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Digital Recording

Hip Hop Therapy: A Culturally Responsive Approach to Trauma Treatment

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4 Hours 07 Minutes
Mar 16, 2023
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Digital Recording
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For almost half a century, the Hip Hop culture has served a therapeutic purpose for participants and witnesses alike. It’s also reached people where, historically, talk therapy has not. With roots in progressive social movements and political protest, many of 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 facilitate personal and communal transformation. In this session, you’ll explore:

  • The foundations of HHT and how it overlaps with several well-established treatment modalities
  • A trauma-informed treatment 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


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 4.25 hours CPD.



JC Hall, LCSW, EXAT's Profile

JC Hall, LCSW, EXAT Related seminars and products

J.C. Hall, LCSW, EXAT, is a Hip-Hop artist and clinical 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 Outstanding Public Service.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: J.C. Hall has an employment relationship with Mott Haven Community High School. He receives a speaking honorarium from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: J.C. Hall has no relevant non-financial relationships.


  1. Describe the origins of hip hop culture and its role in music therapy.
  2. Debate the theoretical and practical underpinnings of Hip Hop therapy as a receptive and expressive approach to treatment.
  3. Assess the impact of a studio-based approach to Hip Hop therapy in a transfer high school setting over the course of a decade.
  4. Practice top-down and bottom-up techniques through song analysis and lyric writing.


  • Origins and development of Hip Hop Therapy (HHT)
  • A look inside a Hip Hop Therapy Studio Program
  • Exploring a trauma-informed HHT using Expressive Arts Therapy and EMDR
  • The value of narrative development and performance-based testimony
  • How various artistic mediums in HHT can help develop dual attention and encourage traumatic processing
  • Integrating top-down and bottom-up regulation strategies using rhythmic engagement with language and music
  • The power of rhythmic, rhyming poetry and use of figurative and descriptive language to facilitate bilateral stimulation
  • Limitations of the research and potential risks

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners 
  • Other Mental Health Professionals



Overall:      4.7

Total Reviews: 11

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