Indonesia Research Update #12: Integrative mental health services in Indonesia by Andrian Liem

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With only 451 clinical psychologists (CP) among 240 million people in 2015, mental health services in Indonesia requires interdisciplinary and multisector collaboration.

Integration between conventional medicine (including conventional psychotherapy) and Complementary-Alternative Medicines (CAM) could be one example of that collaboration because researchers have confirmed CAM’s effectiveness both for physical and psychological issues.

Moreover, CP as health professionals, should also have basic CAM knowledge to be able to provide psychoeducation about CAM based on the latest scientific research to their clients.

Therefore, the aim of Andrian’s study is to explore Indonesian CP knowledge of, attitudes towards, experiences with, and educational needs for CAM using mixed-methods design.

A link to online survey was emailed to 1,045 registered CP in Indonesia. The quantitative phase followed by interviews with 43 CP working at public health centres in Yogyakarta Province.

As preliminary results, he found that CP in Indonesia report inadequate knowledge of CAM and positive attitudes towards CAM, especially integrating CAM into their clinical practice. The majority them had used CAM for personal purpose but the percentages were lower for professional use.

In addition, Indonesian CP strongly agreed that CAM education was needed in psychology curricula. Integration of CAM content in psychology curricula is suggested to be conducted at undergraduate level, master level, and continuing education for registered CP with different aims for each level.

Currently Andrian is working on the qualitative data that will be combined with the qualitative results.

It is expected that the findings from this research will be used for CP communities in Indonesia, education institutions that provide professional psychology programs, and psychology associations to create more integrative mental health services in Indonesia.


Andrian Liem is a PhD candidate at the School of Psychology, the University of Queensland, Australia, with a scholarship from the Indonesian Government (BPI LPDP RI). He completed his bachelor and master in psychology from Universitas Sanata Dharma and Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Andrian’s research interests include indigenous-cultural psychology, clinical-health psychology, gender and sexuality, drug-abuse, HIV-AIDS, and interfaith-dialogue.

More information could be accessed by contacting Andrian on


Indonesia Research Update is an initiative by GoLive Indonesia that aims to promote and disseminate knowledge and information obtained through research completed by Indonesian students outside of Indonesia.

We sincerely thank Andrian and wish the best for his future endeavours in career and life.


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Filed under Health, IndonesiaResearchUpdate, Psychology

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