Our clinic started with Edo’s vision on making psychological health services with western standard available in Indonesia. His vision is triggered by his experience working as a researcher for his doctorate at the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Hamburg in Germany. His office was located just opposite to the campus psychology clinic waiting room. This allows him to witness, be involved, and understand how a psychology clinic should operate.
When he returned to Indonesia, he had friends and relatives who he considered to have mild psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. Edo persuaded them to go to a clinical psychologist at one of the clinic in a leading university in Jakarta. After two or three meetings, they get a diagnosis of depression and anxiety. Then, they get advice in the form of activities that need to be done and changes in mindset. Written advice. They have not recovered, yet they have been terminated by the psychologist. Edo is frustrated. Everyday he takes care of patients with similar diagnoses and they recover within 1-2 months, but because of role conflict he can’t help but witness the natural recovery for months that still continues until now.
Edo then met with Wulan to do joint research on schizophrenia. Wulan has been wanting to do research on the topic for quite some time. As the collaboration progressed, Edo shared his frustration regarding psychological clinical practice in Indonesia with Wulan. This made Wulan concerned about the large gap of the quality of mental health services in Jakarta and western countries. She thought that if the condition is not ideal in the capital, what about in smaller cities in Indonesia? This is not acceptable, she thought.
His research activity also brought him to meet with Steffi. On one research meeting, Steffi shared her frustration with the quality of mental health services in Jakarta. She had an acquaintance who are seeing a psychologist for almost a year at a cost of around 1 million rupiah per hourly weekly meeting. Steffi’s acquaintance was diagnosed with depression. Edo told Steffi that depression often remit within 7-10 therapy hours as stated in the NICE guidelines. Moreover, based on his experience in Indonesia, most of his depression patients remitted within 5 hourly weekly meeting. Most of his patients remitted in less than two months. Steffi regrets that even individuals with good financial condition in Jakarta do not have access to evidence based psychological treatment.
Together we agreed that it is about time that evidence-based psychological healthcare is available here in Indonesia and started to found our first center in Jakarta on May 2018.