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This workshop integrates lessons from hip hop, the most listened to genre in the U.S., into psychotherapeutic practice, to enhance practitioners’ repertoire for helping clients. Participants will increase their familiarity with the hip hop tradition, its cultural context and role in documenting injustice (e.g., mass incarceration, police brutality, poverty) and as a calculated effort to negotiate and cope with psychological and physiological stressors, particularly of African American males. Participants will engage with content from this genre as a means for critical self-reflection. Participants will also be encouraged to pursue further knowledge of hip hop as a way to enhance rapport and assessment, deconstruct power dynamics, and contribute to the validation and empowerment of clients who have a relationship with hip hop as well as with others who may identify with its underlying themes.


Andrew Watkins, MSW, LCSWA, a clinical social worker and community resource coordinator at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical (A&T) State University, is the founder of “The Cypher” a psycho-educational group that utilizes hip hop as an intervention tool in educating participants about basic psychoeducation concepts. Andrew has facilitated this group in multiple settings and conducts trainings for professionals on ways to incorporate Hip Hop into social work practice. As a clinician, Andrew focuses on culturally competent interventions to assist clients in overcoming emotional challenges. Prior to joining A&T, he conducted intensive in-home treatment, served as team lead in multi-system therapy team, and has worked in special projects with youths and families aimed at character development and academic achievement.


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