Professional Counselors Working with BIPOC-Identified Males: The Integration of Hip-Hop in Counseling Practice


  • James Preston Norris University of the Cumberlands
  • LaNita Jefferson South University
  • Ian Levy Manhattan College


Creativity, Hip Hop, Healing, Privilege


This study used a narrative inquiry to examine how Professional Counselors working with BIPOC-identified male can integrated Hip-Hop in their counseling practices to promote healing along with dealing with issue of privilege and power. The results of the study suggest Hip-Hop offers modes of communication and sense of self useful in counseling practice and in the training of future counselors. Practical implications for the use of Hip-Hop in counselor counseling sessions are explored. 

Author Biographies

James Preston Norris, University of the Cumberlands

James Norris received his Master of Arts in Existential-Phenomenology Psychology degree in 2009 from Seattle University and PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of the Cumberlands’ CACREP accredited doctoral program in 2022. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of the Cumberlands. He is a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Washington and has worked in a variety of clinical settings since 2009. Also, he is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Arizona and California. Dr. Norris has served in administration and leadership in the community mental health clinic he developed in 2012 in Seattle, Washington and he has been teaching in higher education for the past two years. Dr. Norris has been in private practice since 2018, where he discovered that most of the traditional counseling approaches lacked the cultural nuance and relevance to connect with communities of color. This has inspired him to pursue and develop a framework specifically designed for effectively working with marginalized groups through Hip Hop and creativity. His primary research interests are in Hip Hop, creativity, and counseling theories. Dr. Norris has published and presented on the integration Hip Hop in Counselor Education for BIPOC identified-males, Hip- Hop and Counseling practice, multicultural cultural issues in counseling.

LaNita Jefferson, South University

LaNita Jefferson, Ph.D., LPC, LPCS is an assistant professor for South University Columbia SC campus. Dr. Jefferson also co-owns a mental health private practice in downtown Columbia SC. Dr Jefferson holds a Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of South Carolina, a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling from USC School of Medicine. Dr. Jefferson specializes in working with persons that have trauma, depression, and anxiety. Dr. Jefferson also specializes in clinical supervision to enhance the professional development in counselors in training. Her research interest includes implementing the use of hip hop in clinical counseling and single case research in counseling.

Ian Levy, Manhattan College

Ian Levy is an Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Counseling & Therapy at Manhattan College, rapper, and former High School counselor. His research explores preparing school counselors to use Hip Hop based interventions to support youth development. Dr. Levy’s work has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, and is documented in a variety of academic journals. His research monograph, Hip Hop and Spoken Word Therapy in School Counseling: Developing Culturally Responsive Approaches, is published with Routledge. 



How to Cite

Norris, J. P., Jefferson, L., & Levy, I. (2024). Professional Counselors Working with BIPOC-Identified Males: The Integration of Hip-Hop in Counseling Practice. Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, 13(1), 58–77. Retrieved from