I read in the Guardian this week that members of the Cambridge University psychiatry department are promoting the idea of using Hip Hop to treat mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and depression. The inspiration for what they are calling, Hip Hop Psych is a recognition that many rap artists come from deprived areas, where poverty, drug use and violence are linked to higher incidents of mental illness and that this connection and the coping mechanisms associated with it are then reflected in their language and songs. One of the processes which has been suggested is that patients write about where they see themselves in one or two years and then compose a rap from that.
This may seem like a fairly off the wall idea to many of you. My view is that if it works then do it. The reality is that it matters not what process you do to get the change that you want; providing that you get the change that you want. NLP was based on the testing of many therapeutic ideas and processes in the search of repeatable, reliable change results. This gave birth to many highly effective change techniques that do produce positive change such as, belief change, six step reframe, parts integration, perceptual positions and Time Line Therapy™ to name but a few. One thing that is often missed by practitioners in all talking therapy fields, is that fundamentally the patient or client doesn’t actually need any “technique” to change, they can just change. I’m sure that there are things in your life that you just changed about yourself in the past without any special processes; you just changed what you did. Particular processes can help, because they work in a particular way that makes the appropriate neurological change. In my experience something that NLP techniques have demonstrated with hundreds of people.
What I also liked about this idea is the recognition of the power of language. I have been teaching for years how the words that people use point to specific nature of their own map of the world. And how the meanings of words that we use can have specific meanings unique for us and how paying attention to peoples’ words tells you so much about them and their challenges. There is a specific technique that we teach on our Master Practitioner training that is designed to unlock someone’s deep-seated problems, which have been caused by the misalignment of linguistic meaning. I had previously thought of these to be like Zen Koans but maybe now on our trainings we can put them to music and do a rap instead.
Often times what makes someone a client of mine is that they just don’t know how to change, they have exhausted all the conscious resources that they have to change and haven’t been able to do it. By paying attention to their language and by using test process I can help them to change. But remember we all, already have everything that we need in order to be happy; yes I know it doesn’t always seem to be this simple but can just be happy, simply by choosing to be happy.
“Bring me down…cant nothing…bring me down…my level’s too high…Because I’m Happy.” Pharrell Williams