The Hip Hop Heals Curriculum was created in 2006 by Lauren Collins, LMSW as an inventive, reality based therapeutic intervention to be implemented in such settings as alternatives to incarceration, group homes, rehab facilities, prisons and any other facilities in which group counseling is mandated. The purpose of the HHHC is simple: to get at-risk populations talking about core issues they face in an honest & direct way. This only helps facilitate a more direct route to personal growth, self-discovery and mental health.
HHHC focuses on using rap music as a powerful catalyst for in-depth discussion of the problems faced by many therapeutic and incarcerated populations. A familiarity with rap’s subject matter encourages a sense of commonality and understanding among group members which helps foster the process of mutual aid. And by using the lyrical content of the songs as a reference point, the program helps even the most guarded participants confront difficult topics by relating their own issues to the themes found within the music.
Rap music and social work may seem an unlikely pairing to some, but this is the key to what makes Hip Hop Heals more than just unique, but also highly effective. And it’s an easy way for administrators to stay on the cutting edge of treatment with this highly relevant therapeutic intervention.
All of us, at one point or another, have had trouble communicating with someone from a different walk of life. Hip Hop Heals helps overcome these barriers, providing a bridge that helps people connect and allows the healing process to begin. Using rap and hip hop music as a reference point to discuss the difficult issues faced by at-risk populations, the HHH program provides a comfortable forum for honest self-examination, while helping participants find their way along the path of personal growth. Participants love it, and their passion encourages an acceptance of therapy as well as an understanding of its goals.
"I celebrate Lauren Collins and her innovative group work approach using pro-social hip hop music to reach young people. Her imaginative and artful methodology promises hope to practitioners and challenges received belief on how to work effectively with youth."
— George Getzel, DSW, Professor Emeritus Hunter College School of Social Work