Program, Social program, and Speakers

Preliminary program (January 9th, 2017)





Thursday, June 8th, 2017

8.30    Registration and coffee

9.15    Opening Nina Sajaniemi, University of Helsinki

PhD Sanna Koskinen, University of Helsinki

9.30 – 11.30    How to bridge theoretical understanding with clinical implications

Dr, psychotherapist Susan Hart, Denmark

11.30 – 11.45    Break

11.45 – 12.45    The polyvagal perspective on emotional regulation

MD, child psychiatrist Jukka Mäkelä,

National Institute of Health and Welfare, Helsinki

12.45 – 14.15    Lunch break

14.15 – 15.15    Coping with immature teenage brain

MD Elina Hermanson, City of Helsinki    

15.15 – 16.00    Voice of children/adolescents

Clinical neuropsychologist, LicPsych Mari Saarinen

Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Children and Young People Mannerheim League for Child Welfare

EVENING: Social program (see below)


Friday, June 9th, 2017

 9.00 – 10.30    Challenges and dilemmas in psychotherapy of patients with neurological disorders

Dr Rudi Coetzer,

Consultant Neuropsychologist and Head of Service, The North Wales Brain Injury Service, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board NHS Wales

Honorary Senior Lecturer in Clinical Neuropsychology, School of Psychology, Bangor University, UK. Visiting Research Fellow, Oxford Brookes University

10.30 – 11.00    Coffee break

11.00 – 12.00    Challenges and dilemmas in psychotherapy of patients with neurological disorders (continues)

Dr Rudi Coetzer

12.00 – 13.30    Lunch break

13.30 – 14.30    Aging neuronal networks

Professor Juha Rinne, University of Turku

14.30 – 15.15    Art of ageing

Actress Eeva-Liisa Haimelin

15.15 – 16.00    Closing remarks

 Clinical neuropsychologist, psychotherapist, LicPsych Ritva Laaksonen, Helsinki



Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

We will get together already before the meeting by looking at the universe in the Helsinki Observatory. This pre-symposium gathering is free of charge and we cordially invite you to meet other participants of the symposium in this exiting environment. Please, don’t forget to register!

See information of the Observatory:


Thursday, June 8th, 2017

The scientific program will change to a social and artistic evening without moving away from the venue. After the last presentation, we will have the possibility for a short visit to the Cable Factory’s cultural centre. After that we will return to the Theatre Museum and have a possibility to perform arts by ourselves – and to have a dinner. The price for the social program on Thursday is 75 euros. Please, don’t forget to register!




Susan Hart


Susan Hart is a psychologist, specialist and supervisor in child psychology and in psychotherapy. She has a background in family treatment and child psychiatry, and is now in private practice. In her extensive lecture and workshop activity, she develops and teaches the neuroaffective theory, which is based on recent brain research. She started to outline neuroaffective developmental theory about 20 years ago, by bridging neuroscience with developmental psychology, and her focus today is on translating the theory into practice. Her organizing goal is to develop a method to bring the right intervention method to the right person. She has written 14 books on NeuroAffective Developmental psychology and psychotherapy, as well as on trauma and dissociation.


Rudi Coetzer


Dr Rudi Coetzer is a Consultant Neuropsychologist and Head of Service with the North Wales Brain Injury Service, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board National Health Service (NHS) Wales. Rudi spends the majority of his time working with patients as an NHS clinician, and is on the British Psychological Society Division of Neuropsychology Specialist Register. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Clinical Neuropsychology in the School of Psychology, Bangor University, collaborating there with academic colleagues in the cognitive and clinical neurosciences. Rudi’s clinical, teaching and research interests include neuropsychological rehabilitation and assessment, psychotherapy approaches in neurological populations, anxiety and mood disorders after brain injury, obsessive-compulsive disorder, traumatic brain injury, outcome after acquired brain injury, delivering brain injury services in poorly resourced environments, and service development. The British Psychological Society Practitioner Book of the Year 2016 was awarded to ‘Coetzer, R. & Balchin, R. (2014). Working with brain injury: A primer for psychologists working in under-resourced settings. Psychology Press, Hove, UK’.


Elina Hermanson


Dr Elina Hermanson is a paediatrician and an adolescent medicine physician, who currently works as the chief physician of school health care in the city of Helsinki. She has been for years actively promoting and improving the health care system for children and adolescents in Finland.  She is also an experienced and enthusiastic clinician for young people and an author for several books aimed at parents and adolescents.


Mari Saarinen

Mari Saarinen is a clinical neuropsychologist working in the Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Children and Young People, The MLL League for Child Welfare in Finland. Her main areas of interest are rehabilitation of children and adolescents with traumatic brain injuries and developmental neuropsychiatric conditions. In addition she is a certified Theraplay therapist having a lot of experience working with children with attachment issues and other psychological traumas.

She has participated in several development projects concerning family rehabilitation of children and adolescents with developmental or acquired neuropsychiatric conditions and rehabilitation goal setting along with being an author in books concerning brain injured children and rehabilitation goal setting.