Rap Therapy: A Practical Guide for Communicating with Young Adults Through Rap Music

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 86%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (27) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $4.95   
  • Used (13) from $1.99   


Dr. Don Elligan, a clinical psychologist working in Chicago and Boston, was looking for a way to connect to the angry young black men in his office. Abusing drugs and alcohol and making poor choices about their future, they desperately needed help in changing their lives. But when Dr. Elligan spoke to them in his language, they tuned him out. He had to learn to understand and communicate in theirs -- the language of hip-hop, or rap. To do that, he developed his widely praised program called Rap Therapy. Now, he makes Rap Therapy accessible to all concerned adults -- parents, guardians, teachers or counselors. In a clearly written, straightforward guide, Dr. Elligan explains how to reach out to today's young people by developing an understanding of their culture: why the pants have to be bigger, the lyrics raunchier, and the music raw and throbbing like their troubled world. He shows how rap artists such as Salt-n-Pepa, Outkast, Dr. Dre, and LL Cool J comment on sex, drugs, politics, society, and family, influencing urban kids in a variety of ways, from clothing to language. And he explains why the movement and the music so appeal to teenagers who use the slang and rhyming lyrics to express their emotions, challenges, and dreams, as well as to shock and exclude adults. Along with compelling real-life stories from his practice, Dr. Elligan provides selected pro-social rap songs to use in Rap Therapy, and specific curricula for various issues from anger management in young men to improving self-esteem in young women. A book of hope and real help, Rap Therapy is an essential tool for using the sound that has captured troubled kids' imaginations to make a difference in their lives.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Culture sensitivity in psychotherapy is a recent approach that allows the client's cultural environment to be acknowledged in the therapeutic process. Clinical psychologist Elligan demonstrates that as the language of hip-hop culture, rap music can be used as a therapeutic tool with inner-city youth; its use in this setting helps establish a trusting and nonjudgmental relationship between therapist and client. By focusing on the lyrics of respected rap artists, the therapist can influence values and provide insight on more appropriate behaviors and moral beliefs. Part 1 describes the different styles of rap music, while Part 2 briefly explains the five steps of rap therapy. The last part illustrates rap therapy concretely through ten case studies. Writing clearly and succinctly, Elligan provides a true guide for instructing other therapists on the use of rap music. The appendix includes a six-page list of rap songs recommended for use in rap therapy. Essential for all academic libraries serving graduate students in psychology.-Maryse Breton, Davis Branch Lib., CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758203960
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Introduction 1
Part 1. Background
1. Youth 7
2. Youth and Music 13
3. Parenting Styles 19
4. Rap Music 25
5. Gangsta Rap 29
6. Materialistic Rap 35
7. Political/Protest Rap 39
8. Positive Rap 43
9. Spiritual Rap 47
10. Rap Not Otherwise Specified 49
11. Hip-Hop Culture 51
Part 2. Theory
12. The Forerunners to Rap Therapy 59
13. Rap Therapy 65
Part 3. Rap Therapy in Action
14. John and Anger Management 79
15. Yolanda Rapping Against Depression 89
16. The Case of Brad 99
17. The Case of Bob 107
18. The Case of BarBara 115
19. The Case of Amy 129
20. The Case of the Lost Sibling 139
21. The Safe-Sex Group 145
22. A Case of Sudden Loss to HIV and AIDS 151
23. The Case of Behavior Management 157
Conclusion 167
Appendix A Examples of Prosocial Rap Songs That Can Be Utilized as Educational Resources 171
Appendix B Online Resources on Rap Music and Hip-Hop 177
Appendix C Sample Curriculum of a Rap Therapy Anger Management Group 178
Appendix D Sample Curriculum of a Rap Therapy Empowerment Group for Women 181
Appendix E Sample Curriculum of an Adolescent Boys Psychoeducational Group 183
Appendix F Some Factors That Might Contribute to Anger 185
Appendix G Functional Analysis of Anger 186
Appendix H The Relationship Between Anger and Health 187
Appendix I Anger Management Suggestions 188
Appendix J Relaxation Strategies 189
Index 191
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2004

    Great Resource!

    As a professor of sociology this is a great resource to share with students. Dr Elligan offers a step by step approach to reach youth by integrating rap music and hip hop in therapy. The book demonstrates the utility of rap music by presenting several powerful case studies which reveal the culture, struggles, and triumph of youth development. A must read for students of psychology, social work, and family studies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2004

    Parents, Teachers, Students, Therapists...Must Read

    This is a well written and informative book. Dr Elligan outlines a step by step approach to communicate with youth by using rap music as way to help youth articulate their feelings. The book also offers powerful case studies which reveal the struggles, culture, coping strategies, and hopes of youth. Well done.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)