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Opinions of Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Columnist: Alhassan, Abdul Latif

Psychology Can Do For Ghana

Under the mango tree at my village elsewhere in Ghana, I continuously ponder over why Ghana is in the state of lack of almost all. From power to water! What has Ghana not lacked? I introspected; is it the technology we lack? Is it the scientists we lack? Is it the financial or economic analysts we lack? Is it the political scientists Ghana lack? And so on. I found out that Ghana has at least a sumptuous number of professors in the various professional fields I could count. These professors are always heard analyzing and theorizing on the mass media and other platforms.

For my gargantuan and “woyomic” need to help figure out the predicament of mother Ghana, I asked; why are all those professor in operation but Ghana still lack a lot. I came to figure about that most of those professionals lack the golden tool of development and that is PSYCHOLOGY! The mind developer! The agent of change!
Which of Ghana’s problem not psychological? Every aspect of our problem as a nation boils down to how we think about issues in our dear nation. If our politicians think they are to get into politics and become rich, so will it be. If our leaders think we are poor and cannot live by our own means, so will it be. If our public officers think being corrupt is the best way to get things done, so will it be. If citizens think violence begets violence is the best way to resolve conflict, so will it be. If students think they are to go to school and become employees and not employers, so will it be.
In order not to be selfish, I have to do you a favour by taking you through how our thought feeling and behaviour are linked. It is an indubitable fact that how we think about issues influence how we feel and consequently how we behave. For instance, someone thinks becoming a politician will make him rich. The person would be energized to go into politics and will intend do anything in the name of politics, including looting the state to become rich. This shows that it is not the event (politics) that influences the action (looting the state) but, it is the kind of thought (politics makes people rich) that influences the action (looting the state). This may sound weird and confusing but, calm down and think about it; that is the veracity. Politicians, am sorry, anyway, Politics is just but an example. .
Most Ghanaians fail to realize that in every aspect of our lives, our thoughts are very influential in relation to our feeling and behaviour. That is why psychologists in Ghana have to wake up from slumber. There are a whole lot of cognitive distortions (unhelpful thinking pattern in which our mind convinces us that we are right but is not really true) in the general population of the global village, but Ghana is worst. Ghanaians are very quick at reading others minds, talking for others, blaming, jumping to conclusion and the worst of it all is the Ghanaian attitude of always being right. Am I the one to say it? You for know! When will any authority in Ghana agree to making a wrong decision or implementing a wrong policy? Never! Even if they are wrong, they will blatantly defend themselves. Parties in government always defend their implemented policies even if those policies are butchering the citizens.
With the kind of psychological viruses in our Ghanaian mental faculty, we need a powerful psychological antivirus to clean our system. This is where the service of the Ghana Psychological Association (GPA) is needed. The Ghana Psychological Association (GPA) must wake up to push for cognitive behavioural therapy to be rendered to Ghanaians. This therapy will serve as a mind changing tool to instill positive thinking into Ghanaians. The therapy should be an all inclusive one, right from the president’s office to uncle Abu’s family in his maize farm.
I am very confident if our learned psychologists devise a comprehensive behaviour changing model, let it get to the people at Accra and, those at my village, our beloved Ghana will surely develop because to me, our developmental problem is psychological. Remember, the most important resource in the development of a country is the human resource. If our human resource is not in its right state, then I am afraid.

Written by:
Abdul Latif Alhassan,