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Questions/Concerns? A Viable, Culturally Sensitive Solution:
Rap Therapy History Research on Rap Therapy Rap Therapy and Adolescent Males How To "Do" Rap Therapy!! Research shows that African American males •Are held to low academic and behavior expectations (Ferguson, 2003; Noguera, 2003; Roderick, 2003)
• Are more likely to be characterized as violent, disrespectful, lazy, and unintelligent (Franklin, 1999)
•Have the lowest occupational goals (e.g., postal employee, cafeteria worker) (Terrell, Terrell, & Miller 1993)
•Are less likely to see the connection between school and employment opportunities (Miller-Cribbs, Cronen, Davis & Johnson, 2002)
•52% of African American male students who leave high school prematurely have prison records by their 30s (HoytSchiraldi, Smith & Ziedenberg, 2002) •Strongly disbelieve that their classroom teachers care about them (Noguera, 2003)
•Have more clinical depression symptoms than other children in school (Kristner, David, & White, 2003)
•African American male students are disproportionately referred to special education services, have fewer support systems, higher in-school suspension and expulsion rates, and more dramatic declines in quality of schooling experiences, compared to their Caucasian and female counterparts (Artiles, Harry, Reschly, & Chinn, 2002; Roderick, 2003) Research shows that African American males RESEARCH
Exploratory Study of a Rap Music Intervention with At-Risk and Delinquent Youth
Edgar H. Tyson (2002) 14 teenagers (median age 15.8) residing at a facility in Miami
Three were place in foster homes and left the study
Divided into two groups 5 attending HHT, 6 in comparison group
•Exploratory study of the therapeutic potential of a rap music intervention in group work with youth
•Compared the outcomes of youth that attended HHT sessions and youth that attended comparison group therapy sessions at a residential facility for at-risk delinquent youth.
•Appears to indicate the HHT might be a viable tool to assist practitioners working with at-risk and delinquent youth
•Youth in HHT group reported appropriate improvements and youth supported HHT use in groups
•Has potential of increasing the effectiveness of group work with youth Song to Self: Promoting a Therapeutic Dialogue with High-Risk Youths
Through Poetry and Popular Music
Page Olson-McBride (2011) Three intervention groups with participants from
Two facilities, an alternative school, and a transitional living program
Members between ages 12 and 21
Total of 18 participants
•The presence of an external topic of discussion, the song lyrics, provided group members with a safe and neutral point from which to begin their participation in a group session
•Quickly moved past the external entity and began sharing their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences
•Often seemed that a chain reaction of self-disclosing occurred as a result of a song lyric or an item shared during discussion
•Chain reactions of self-disclosure allowed for the universalizing of certain experiences and helped some group members know that they were not alone in their experiences
•Acts of self-disclosure allowed group members to find similarities, but they were also able to explore their differences in a pro-social manner RAP Therapy: A Group Work Intervention Method for Urban Adolescents
Hockman DeCarlo (2003) 21 eighth through tenth grade African American adolescents
From a large Midwestern city
Participants selected from a pool of referrals from
teachers, juvenile probation officers, parents community ministers
Control group of high school students
•Using RAP music in group therapy as a conduit to support pro-social skills development and develop effective group work intervention strategies
•Findings unequivocally in favor of RAP therapy
•Finding emphasized the important role of cultural sensitivity
•Results indicate the RAP therapy has a significant usefulness outside of the clinical and correctional systems too
•Control group of high school students were as excited and comfortable with the RAP therapy as were the violent and status offender groups Connecting with this population Traditional approaches assign the therapist a superior role in the relationship (Williams & Swartz, 1998).
Specifically, when non-minority therapists and counselors work in urban settings, which serve primarily clients from low-income neighborhoods of African-American and various Latino backgrounds, they often struggle to be accepted and respected for what they can contribute to the clients they serve (Anez, Paris, Bedregal, Davidson, & Grilo, 2005).
Working with inner-city youth provides counselors with the added challenge of “cultural barriers” (Kobin & Tyson, 2006) Definition and HistoryHip Hop
Therapy and Rap Therapy Tyson (2002) combined poetry therapy (Mazza, 1999) (a special case of bibliotherapy) and a progressive form of music therapy to create hip-hop therapy. Early research shows that HHT is a potentially powerful method of reaching and engaging Hispanic and African American youth in treatment.
Hip-hop therapy (Tyson, 2002, 2003) is a semi-structured method of treatment that embodies principles of cultural competence and the strengths-based perspective (Saleeby, 1996) that has been used primarily to assist clients from urban settings. HHT includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques and psycho-educational undertones.
The therapist plays an active teaching role by:
defining “negative” and “positive” hip-hop
playing a verse
facilitating client interpretation of lyrical relevance to social realities
validating client values
helping clients address goals
asking for feedback. Hip Hop Therapy and Rap Therapy Elligan’s (2004) use of rap music in therapy with youth from urban settings includes a five-step process:
“assessment,” or determining how client self-identity is influenced by rap music
“validating” the client’s interest in hip-hop leading to the formation of the empathic alliance
“reframing” or broadening client awareness of different genres of rap music
“role play” where clients create their own lyrics, and finally
“action and maintenance” where work is done on emotional or behavioral issues (Elligan, pp. 65–75).
Together, these steps encompass a potentially effective strategy for building the therapeutic relationship and identifying critical discussions and goals for treatment. Both HHT and rap therapy employ elements of the strengths perspective and the empowerment perspective (Graybeal, 2001; Gutierrez, 1990) and therefore have the potential to bolster the self-efficacy of disempowered clients. Originally rap was a narrative of social inequalities in urban communities; rap artists would discuss a multitude of different issues including local and national politics (Alridge & Stewart, 2005). As the genre evolved, rap music has split into several subgenres. Elligan (2004) specifically discusses types: gangster, materialistic, political/protest, positive, spiritual rap, and otherwise undefined. Agenda Rap Therapy Elligan’s 5-Step Model
and Hip Hop Therapy Tyson Assessment Stage – The counselor’s goal is to determine if clients have a strong interest in rap music by discussing the client’s favorite rap songs, artists, and groups. As well as identify those which clients dislike.
Alliance Stage – Counselor and clients begin to build positive rapport. Important for counselor to actively engage with clients by listening to music together and discussing possible interpretations.
Reframing Stage – Counselor attempts to “broaden” clients appreciation of other types of rap music beyond specific styles discussed during the assessment stage.
Role Play Stage – Counselor and clients create rap lyrics of their own.
Action and Maintenance Stage – Counselor encourages clients to write about specific issues that affect their lives. Counselor and clients then discuss possible interpretations of the lyrics, finding deeper meaning. At Risk Adolescents According to an executive summary combining research efforts by the RAND Corporation, PolicyLink, The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School and the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice at Drexel University, African-American and Latino youth are more likely to:
Grow up in poverty
Not graduate from high school
Experience a greater likelihood of going to prison
Have a parent in prison
Be born to teenage mothers
Encounter higher mortality rates from homicide
Be exposed to violence
Suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder
(Brooks, 2010) At Risk Adolescents National data on the drop out rate
for high school students
Black students 9.8%
White students 5.2%
Hispanic students 17.6% (Chapman, Laird, Ifill, KewalRamani, 2011) At Risk Adolescents Stigma toward mental illness (shameful)
African American and Latino communities
Less likely to access mental health services
Have a general distrust of the mental health system
Cultural norms and gender expectations (boys are tough, conceal pain, hide emotion and deal with their own problems)
Use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate
Mental health profession largely white middle class
Lacking culturally competent practice to engage diverse groups
(Alvarez, 2011) Bibliotherapy Well established use of poetry and literature to facilitate treatment
Researchers have recently reported significant findings on the use of literature and poetry to help adolescents cope with problems.
The major goals of bibliotherapy are
Provide information on problems
Provide insight into problems
Stimulate discussion about problems
Communicate values and attitudes
Create an awareness that others have dealt with similar problems
Provide solutions to problems
Extremely useful in facilitating culturally competent practice Traditional Music Therapy Goals of Music Therapy
Increase child’s awareness of himself
Improve communication skills
Improve self-concept by teaching a skill
Until recently, music as a therapeutic tool has been utilized almost exclusively as an auditory stimulus, and as a constructive and expressive activity (i.e., playing a musical instrument)
(Clenenon-Wallen, 1991) Rap Therapy has been explored among social workers and psychotherapists in counseling adolescents, particularly high-risk African American males (Elligan, 2000).
Rap Therapy is rooted in social learning theory and can be integrated into a cognitive behavioral model (Elligan, 2000). The importance of integrating Rap Therapy with a cognitive behavioral model is that the clients become aware of the association between personal lyric interpretation, their emo- tions, and at-risk behaviors. This awareness aids in their ability to be reflec- tive and allows them to effectively problem solve (Elligan 2000, 2004). Rap Therapy