Program, Social program, and Speakers




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 – 15.00    Art of ageing

Actress Eeva-Liisa Haimelin

15.00 – 16.00    Closing remarks

 Clinical neuropsychologist, psychotherapist, LicPsych Ritva Laaksonen, Helsinki



Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 at 18 – 20 PM:    Get together at Helsinki Observatory, Kopernikuksentie 1.

We will get together already before the meeting at the Helsinki Observatory (click)

Directions: Trams number 10 (Johanneksen kirkko stop) OR number 2 (Eteläranta stop).

Find the Observatory on Map (click)

This pre-symposium gathering is free of charge and we cordially invite you to meet other participants of the symposium. Please, don’t forget to register!


Thursday, June 8th, 2017 at 19 – 22 PM:   Dinner at the Theatre Museum

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 take part in a performance – and to have a dinner. The price for the social program on Thursday is 75 euros. Please, don’t forget to register!




CHAIR on Thursday: Nina Sajaniemi


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.


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.


CHAIR on Friday: Jaana Sarajuuri

Jaana Sarajuuri has worked as a clinical neuropsychologist almost three decades in a nationwide excellence center for neurorehabilitation Validia Rehabilitation Helsinki (former Käpylä Rehabilitation Center) in Finland. Concerning the clinical work she has been accomplishing a subspecialty training of neuropsychotherapy. Jaana Sarajuuri is the Head of Unit, Clinical neuropsychology and psychology, and Director of a holistic neurorehabilitation program for traumatically brain injured patients (the INSURE program). She is member of the European Holistic Working Group and the Euroacademia Multidisciplinaria Neurotraumatologica. In the QOLIBRI Task Force Group she has been developing with international colleagues the first disease-specific measure of health-related quality-of-life after traumatic brain injury. As a PhD(c) after the licenciate dissertation in the Helsinki university she is finishing her doctoral thesis which handles comprehensive neurorehabilitation, outcome and experiental perspective after traumatic brain injury.


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’.


Juha Rinne

Juha Rinne, MD, PhD, Neurologist, Professor of Brain Neurotransmission, is the leader of brain PET research at Turku PET Centre and a consultant neurologist at the Division of Clinical Neurosciences at Turku University Hospital, Åbo Akademi University and University of Turku. He has almost 30 years’ experience in human Positron Emission Tomography (PET) studies, particularly focusing on the CNS using various PET tracers in healthy volunteers and in patients with different neurological disorders (mainly memory diseases or movement disorders). He also works as a clinician focusing mainly in memory and movement disorders. He has been the global or local principal investigator in several clinical drug trials.


Eeva-Liisa Haimelin

Eeva-Liisa Haimelin is a beloved Finnish actress. She is famous for her numerous characters in the Helsinki City Theatre during her long career in 1968-2011. Eeva-Liisa Haimelin is also well known for her poetry readings. In our International Symposium she will present us selected parts of the production of Sylvi Kekkonen.


Ritva Laaksonen

Ritva Laaksonen is a graduate of the Helsinki University with M.A. degree majoring in psychology. Specialization studies in clinical neuropsychology she completed at the Jyväskylä University with the licensiate degree (Lic. Psych.). Her career has included clinical work in the domains of neuropsychology and cognitive psychotherapy for 4 decades. She has held teaching and lecturing positions at the Universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä as well as the University of Gothenburg Sweden. For several years she participated multi-disciplinary research projects at the Helsinki University Hospital, department of Neurology while being the chief psychologist of the clinic for 13 years. Research topics covered studies on CVA, dementia, epilepsy, interferon etc.. Rehabilitation of memory was her particular concern and she participated a large European multi-center experimental study on treatment strategies of memory. She has also been the author for several neuropsychological text-book chapters in Finland and abroad. In 2001 she published a book on depression and co-edited a book on introduction to neuropsychotherapy published by Taylor & Francis 2013. In the years 2003-2005 she was an elected member of the Board of Governors of the INS. Other expert work has included consulting editorships for 2 journals: The Clinical Neuropsychologist and Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. She organized the first 2 training programs in neuropsychotherapy in Finland and this serves as her main interest area of today.