Rhymecology: Using Hip-Hop to Heal: The Therapist Guide by Jeffrey T. Walker $24.99
Rhymecology is a how to guide for therapists who want to use hip-hop as a tool to reach their clients.
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About the author:
Jeffrey T. Walker has a masters degree in educational pyschology and is a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP.) He’s been working with at risk youth in California for almost two decades. He is also a slam poet and a hip hop artist. You can learn more about Jeff here and you can check out his other book, Rhymecology – The Art Of Hip-Hop Lyrics, here.
What we love:
The concept of Rhymecology is simple and effective. I love that it’s a culturally sensitive approach to tailoring therapy for a group that is typically underserved. This isn’t your everyday therapy but that’s a good thing.
Rhymecology is full of activities that you can do with your clients in session. You can help them work through difficult emotions and use the art to better understand themselves. It also includes a chapter on how to write a note after a session using hip hop in a way that insurance providers will recognize this as a legitimate treatment.
What we didn’t:
I worried that some of the references and activities could be outdated. Some of your clients may need you to know more current music. The other struggle I had was that he often focused on looking for songs with positive messages. I’m not a fan of forced positivity so I would rather have clients bring in the music they connect with and share their interpretation of it.
This is one of those books that you pretty much know immediately if it’s for you. You either get excited by the concept and have the kind of clients this would click for or you don’t. I’ll be honest, I don’t serve the right clients for hip hop therapy so I had some peers who do use the book for a while. They absolutely raved about it.
If Rhymecology is up your alley, I think it is a great tool to have in your therapy toolbox. It won’t be enough on it’s own to address severe mental health challenges or major trauma but it could be a great foundation even for that intensity of work. I highly recommend Rhymecology if you’re serving people in the hip hop culture.
Many therapists enjoy recommending books to their clients to supplement the work they are doing together. We also use books to help ourselves grow as people and practitioners. Remember though that books are never a replacement for real human connection or for therapy when it’s needed. If you find yourself needing a therapist, a great place to start is Psychology Today. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.