North Philadelphia native Ron Crawford is bringing hip-hop to his therapy sessions.
His goal is to teach other North Philadelphians a better way of dealing with trauma. His method is connecting with patients through methods inspired by their culture. When studying to become a therapist, Crawford noticed that many therapy techniques were centered around European methods but that these approaches weren’t reaching people of color.
In the last 6 months, there have been almost 700 crimes in the Temple area alone. Though Crawford had heard of these incidents, he had not experienced them firsthand until he noticed how many black and Latino Philadelphian men weren’t seeking mental help when going through traumatic events. Crawford has since taken it upon himself to reach out to his own community through his work.
In his seminars, Crawford talks about the dangers of the current discourse surrounding drugs in hip-hop. Many rappers are citing Percocets as an escape, and Crawford is quick to speak out against those kinds of mindsets. He discusses positive rappers, from those who are already popular to those who are up and coming in the Philly streets.
He also connects with patients relying on his own past experiences. As a survivor of trauma and abuse, he’s transformed his pain into energy and positivity.
Crawford is bringing his sessions to Temple University. Starting October 3rd, Crawford will teach an eight-week Hip-Hop Therapy course on campus.