Getting H.Y.P.E: Stone Mountain Counselor Incorporates Hip-Hop Into Teen Therapy

“I smoke a blunt to take the pain out and if I wasn’t high, I’d probably try to blow my brains out.” The lyric from a Tupac Shakur song may seem racy for young ears, but one local therapist encourages some teens to listen closely. She says rappers like Jay-z, Notorious B.I.G. and even Atlanta’s own T.I. and Ludacris are teachers whose life stories can help young people learn from their own mistakes and heal. H.Y.P.E. hip-hop therapy is the brainchild of Stone Mountain-based mental health counselor Dr. Adia Winfrey. “Dr. Dia,” as her clients call her, is a lifelong hip-hop fan who incorporates rap music into group counseling sessions in hopes of getting troubled teens to open up. H.Y.P.E. is an acronym for Healing Young People Thru Empowerment.