Art as therapy in Ghana

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Art has been of us to humanity for survival from the very beginning of existence on earth. In the Palaeolithic times, use was made of fashioned out stones for farming and hunting, arrows were shot at paintings of animals on cave walls1 ostensibly, to ensure the success of hunting expeditions. In contemporary times art has continued to ne of use to modern medicine especially in the field of therapy. For example, several prostheses have been employed in surgery like plastic veins, limbs and hands. The therapeutic value of art makes it to b widely utilized in medica1 practices of the world. The inherent strengths of art for therapy is least employed in Ghana. This research therefore seeks to bring into sharp focus, the existing therapeutic practice in the country with the view to making suggestions that would help raise awareness to its availability to both the general public and the medica1 practitioners. The descriptive and analytical approach constitutes the main research methods. Use was made of questionnaire and interview as the research instruments. The scope of the research covered some health institutions and institutions for the disabled in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Agoo-Ashanti, Akropong-Akwapim, Koforidua and Wa. The report is made up of six chapters. Chapter one is the introduction to the research. It deals with the problem and its setting. Chapter Two is a review of related literature - opinions shared by different authors on the use of art as therapy. Chapter Three deals with the historical overview of art therapy Chapter Four examines the existing use of art for therapeutic activities in our country’s health institutions as well as those for the disabled. The analysis and interpretation of field data obtained, have been covered in Chapter Five while the last Chapter - Six, deals with summary recommendations and conclusion.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Arts in Art Education, 1992