CYPHER was created to respond to a specific need within urban schools, culturally responsive school counseling programs to address the mental health needs of students. Although the field of Hip Hop Therapy is not new, CYPHER specifically utilizes the Hip Hop and Spoken Word Therapy (HHSWT) framework as a model for school counselors in urban schools. As we collectively work to build the evidence base, scholarly research on the application of CYPHER, and school based hip hop therapy programs alike, will be posted here.

For any individuals interested in assisting in the development of this evidence base, please feel free to contact


Journal of Poetry Therapy (Levy, 2012)

Hip Hop and Spoken Word Therapy with Urban Youth

Journal of Poetry Therapy (Levy & Keum, 2014)

Hip Hop Emotional Exploration in Men

(Levy, Emdin, & Adjapong, 2016)

Exploring HHSWT as a School Counseling Framework (Under Review)