1st Edition

Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Therapy in School Counseling Developing Culturally Responsive Approaches

By Ian Levy Copyright 2021
    162 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    162 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume recognizes the need for culturally responsive forms of school counseling and draws on the author’s first-hand experiences of working with students in urban schools in the United States to illustrate how hip-hop culture can be effectively integrated into school counseling to benefit and support students.

    Detailing the theoretical development, practical implementation and empirical evaluation of a holistic approach to school counseling dubbed "Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Therapy" (HHSWT), this volume documents the experiences of the school counsellor and students throughout a HHSWT pilot program in an urban high school. Chapters detail the socio-cultural roots of hip-hop and explain how hip-hop inspired practices such as writing lyrics, producing mix tapes and using traditional hip-hop cyphers can offer an effective means of transcending White, western approaches to counseling. The volume foregrounds the needs of racially diverse, marginalized youth, whilst also addressing the role and positioning of the school counselor in using HHSWT.

    Offering deep insights into the practical and conceptual challenges and benefits of this inspiring approach, this book will be a useful resource for practitioners and scholars working at the intersections of culturally responsive and relevant forms of school counseling, spoken word therapy and hip-hop studies.

    Foreword by Dr. Christopher Emdin

    Introduction: An Ode to Hip-Hop

    1. Hip-Hop Culture, Educational History and Humanism in Relation to School Counselling

    2. Introducing the Pilot Program: A Hip-Hop Lyricism Course

    3. The Importance of "Realness" for a Hip-Hop School Counselor

    4. Co-Creating Counseling Offices with Youth

    5. Mixtape Making: Leveraging the Power of Youth Participatory Action Research

    6. Hip-Hop Cyphers as Community-Defined Practice to Advance Group Work

    7. HHSWT in a Comprehensive School Counseling Program

    Conclusion: Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Therapy


    Ian Levy is assistant professor of Counseling and Therapy at Manhattan College, US.

    "Ian Levy accepts hip-hop on its own terms. As a result, this book shows how hip-hop — its expressions and collective practices — can promote humane and whole counseling experiences for students. This book will expand the culturally responsive repertoire of school counselors and even classroom teachers." 

    -- Emery Petchauer, Associate Professor, Michigan State University, USA.

    "Dr. Levy offers us a vibrant, rigorous, and deeply meaningful understanding of the healing and humanizing power and potentials of hip hop culture. Rather than pose hip hop as a simplistic intervention, by inviting students into healing spaces on their own terms, Dr. Levy reminds us of the knowledge of self and pedagogies of care hip hop embodies. This book presents elegantly researched and practical approaches to counseling for the hip hop generation. Clearly an invaluable resource for therapists, counselors, and educators and anyone interested in hip hop, youth, and culturally relevant approaches to education. A game changer."

    -- Michael B. Dando, Assistant Professor of English, St. Cloud State University, USA.

    "As counseling interventions continue to evolve, now more than ever before, school counselors are creating culturally responsive environments to meet students in their spaces and places. Dr. Ian Levy’s Hip Hop and Spoken Word Therapy provides the theoretical framework and the practical applications to give voice to the struggles and stresses that urban students face on the streets, in schools, and in their living situations. […] School counselors, educators, and therapists can use these meaningful and creative culturally expressive experiences, approaches, and resources to reach students who have not responded to traditional methods of counseling. Take the next step. Listen to your students’ voices and create a place to help them express themselves, learn, and grow!"

    -- Carol Dahir, Professor, School Counseling Department, New York Institute of Technology, USA.

    "Dr. Levy offers an innovative approach to school counseling that is anchored and guided by hip-hop culture. The articulation and use of hip-hop as a theoretical framing to inform the practices of school counseling has the potential to push the field to be increasingly thoughtful and intentional about offering students responsive school counseling practices. Further, Dr. Levy provides tangible research-based practices as well as meaningful anecdotes that can support practicing school counselors with engaging in hip-hop based school counseling. All school counselors should pick up this text!"

    -- Edmund Adjapong, Assistant Professor of Education, Seton Hall University, USA.