Susanne Harder

Susanne Harder

Professor emeritus.

Research fields

  • Developmental psychopathology,
  • Psychosis
  • Mother-infant interaction
  • Psychotherapy research

Research group memberships

  • ECDU early child development unit
  • Center for psychotherapy research

Research: brief description

Susanne Harder is associate professor in clinical psychology at Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen. Her research interests focus on understanding, prevention and treatment of severe mental disorders, especially psychosis, from a developmental psychopathology perspective. She has a long engagement in psychotherapy of psychosis and has written several papers based both on a large scale effect study and small scale process studies she has initiated, as well as theoretical contribution to the field. Her theoretical orientation is integrative with a basis in attachment and intersubjectivity approaches (Harder, 2014, Psychiatry, Schizophrenia Bulletin). Her interest in understanding and prevention of severe mental disorder from a developmental psychopathology perspective lead to an engagement in the study of normal developmental processes. Together with Mette Væver and Simo Køppe she started Copenhagen University Babylab, where she is studying  infant development during early mother-infant interaction through an observational micro-process approach. (Harder, Lange, Væver & Køppe, 2015, Developmental Psychology).

Her current research, The WARM study, a longitudinal  cohort study of high-risk infants of mothers with severe mental disorder,  is funded by FKK, and regional research funds in Region Zealand and Region Southern Denmark. Several senior researcher  as well 3 phd, 1 postdoc,  1 associate professor, 1 research assistant and 1 project coordinator are attached to the study.  It is a Danish Scottish collaboratory study  carried out in close collaborate with collegues at University of Southern Denmark, psychiatric and obstetric departments in Region Zealand and region Southern Denmark, international collaborators at University of Glasgow (professor Andrew Gumley), University af Edinburgh (Ass. Prof. Angus Macbeth and Prof. Matthias Schwannauer) and international advisors (Prof. Carol George, Mills College, Prof. Karlen Lyons-Ruth, Harvard Medical School, Ass. Prof. Rudolf Uher, Dalhousie University). The study is currently recruiting participant. (Davidsen, Harder et al. 2015, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology).

Current research projects

  • The Warm study (PI)
  • Babylab normal cohort study 0-1 year (co-PI)
  • Congenital deafblindness and bodily-tactile language acquisition (PhD supervision)

Major grants

Danish Council for Independent Research, kr. 4.370.000 (2014).

Carlsbergfondet kr.580.000 (2006),

Inge Lehmanns Legat kr. 29.086. (2005)


  • Master’s theses
  • Bachelor’s theses  
  • Clinical Psychology


Selected publications

Harder, S, Lange, T, Rasmussen GF, Væver MS,  Køppe S, (2015)  A Longitudinal Study of Coordination in Mother-Infant Vocal Interaction from age 4 to 10 Months. Developmental Psychology, Online first publication. DOI:

Motivation for selected paper:

This paper represents  my engagement in empirical developmental research, more specifically in  the microprocess approach to analysis of preverbal mother-infant interaction which characterize UCPH Babylab. The work was carried out in collaboration with  Babylab seniors  Mette Væver and Simo Køppe and  biostatistician Theis Lange and represents a novel methodological approach to the analysis of microprocesses in early mother-infant interaction using multistate analysis.  Multistate analysis is normally applied to medical research  to model trasistion between health and illnees. Our approach was approved  by a leading journal for empirical research in developmental psychology “Developmental Psychology”,  and published there.

Harder, S, Davidsen, K, Macbeth, A, Lange, T., Minnis, H, Andersen, M. S., Simonsen, S, Lundy , JM, Nyström-Hansen, M, Trier CH,  Røhder,K., Gumley, A. Wellbeing And Resilience: Mechanisms of transmission of health and risk in parents with complex mental health problems and their offspring - The WARM Study. (BMC Psychiatry in revision)

Harder, S, Dyrholm M, Væver M, Køppe S. Development in vocal-motor coordination in infants during early mother-infant interaction from 4-10 months (Developmental Psychology in submission).

Harder, S, Lange, T, Rasmussen GF, Væver MS,  Køppe S, (2015)  A Longitudinal Study of Coordination in Mother-Infant Vocal Interaction from age 4 to 10 Months. Developmental Psychology, Online first publication. DOI:

Davidsen, K, Harder, S,  Macbeth,A, Lundy, JM,  Gumley, A. (2015) Mother-infant interaction in schizophrenia: transmitting risk or resilience? A conceptual review. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. DOI:

Harder , S, Rosenbaum, B. (2015). Contemporary Psychodynamic Approaches to Psychosis. In P. Luyten, L. Mayes, P Fonagy, M. Target, S. J. Blatt, (Eds)   Handbook of Contemporary Psychodynamic Approaches to Psychopathology, New York NY: The Guilford Press 259-287.

Melau, M., Harder, S., Jeppesen, J., Hjorthøj, C., Jepsen,J.R.M., Thorup, A., Nordentoft, M., (2015) . The association between working alliance and clinical and functional outcome in a cohort of 400 patients with first-episode psychosis: a cross sectional study. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 76(1) e83-90.

Harder, S (2014) Attachment in schizophrenia: Implications for research, prevention and treatment. Schizophrenia Bulletin 40(6) 1189-1193. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbu133.

Harder, S, Koester, A.,  Valbak, K and  Rosenbaum, B. (2014) Five-year follow-up of supportive psychodynamic psychotherapy in first-episode psychosis. Long-term outcome in social functioning. Psychiatry 77 (2): 155-68

Harder, S & Daniel, S. (2014). The relationship between metacognitive profile, symptom development, therapeutic process and recovery in the treatment of a person experiencing first episode psychosis. In  Giancarlo Dimaggio M.D. and Martin Brüne M.D (eds).  Social cognition and metacognition in schizophrenia: Psychopathology and treatment approaches. Elsevier Press.

Jansen, JE,  Harder, S, Haahr, UH, Lyse, HG, Pedersen, MB, Trauelsen, AM, Simonsen, E. (2014). The role of metacognitions in expressed emotion and distress: a study on caregivers of persons with first-episode psychosis Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy

Jansen, J.E., Lysaker, PH , Harder, S, Haahr, U.H, Lyse, H.G., Pedersen, M.B.,Trauelsen, A.M. Simonsen, E. (2013) Predictions of positive and negative experiences of caregiving in adults with first-episode psychosis: emotional overinvolvement, wellbeing and metacognition. Psychology and Psychotherapy, Theory, Research and Practice DOI: 10.1111/papt.12014.


Jansen, JE, Haahr, UH,  Harder, S, Trauelsen, AM, Lyse, HG, Pedersen, MB, , Simonsen, E. (2014. "Caregiver distress in first-episode psychosis: the role of subjective appraisal, over-involvement and symptomatology." Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology (2014): 1-8

Smith-Nielsen, J, Steele, H, Mehlhase, H, Cordes, K, Steele, M, Harder, S,Væver, MS (2014). Links among high EPDS scores, state of mind regarding attachment, and symptoms of personality disorder. Journal of Personality Disorders, 28, 173

Væver, M, Beebe, B, Snidman, N, Kirk, O, Harder, S, Tronick, E. (2013) "An automated approach  for measuring infant head orientation in a face-to-face interaction", Behavioral Research Methods. 1-12

Harder, S. & Lysaker, P.: (2013). Narrative coherence and recovery of self-experience in psychotherapy of psychosis. In: Andrew Gumley, Alf Gilham, Kathy Taylor and Mattthias Schwannauer (Eds) Psychosis and Emotion: The role of emotion in understanding psychosis, therapy and recovery, Brunner-Routledge, London.

Harder, S., Køster, A., Valbak, K., & Rosenbaum, B. (2013). Long-term outcome in social functioning. Five-year follow-up of supportive psychodynamic psychotherapy in first-episode psychosis. Psychiatry 77 (2), 155-68.

Væver, M. S.  Krogh, M. T., Smith-Nielsen, J., Harder, S., Køppe. S.(2013) Measuring spatial proximity in mother–infant interaction: A kinematic approach for an examination of the effects of maternal postpartum depression. Infant Behavior & Development, 36,  427– 431.

Harder S, Folke S. (2012). Affect Regulation and Metacognition in Psychotherapy of Psychosis. An Integrative Approach. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration 22: 330-343.

Rosenbaum B., Harder  S., Knudsen P., Koester A., Lajer M., Lindhardt, A., Valbak, K. & Winther, G.  (2012). Psychodynamic psychotherapy versus treatment as usual. Two years follow-up from a prospective comparative treatment study of patients with first episode psychosis. Psychiatry 75; 331-41.

Krogh, M., Væver, M.   Harder, S., Køppe, S., ( 2012).  Cultural differences in infant development during the first year: A study of Danish infants assessed by the Bayley-III and compared to the American norms. European Journal of Developmental Psychology. Volume 9, Issue 6, November 2012, pages 730-736

Harder, S. & Simonsen, E. (2009). Psychosis: Psychological and integrative approaches  Introduction (Editorial). Psychosis (1), S1.

Køppe, S., Harder, S. , Væver, M. S.,  Roald, T. Vitality affects. (2008) International Forum of Psychoanalysis 17 (3), Oxford, U.K.: 169-179

Rosenbaum, B. Harder, S. (2007). Psychosis and the dynamics of the psychotherapeutic process. International Review of Psychiatry (2007), 19, pp13-23

Rosenbaum, B. Valbak, K, Harder, S, Knudsen, P., Køster, A., Lajer, M. Lindhardt, A.. Winther, G.; Petersen, L. ; Jørgensen, P. ; Nordentoft, M.; Andreasen, A. (2006). Treatment of patients with first episode psychosis: two years outcome data from the Danish National Schizophrenia Project.  World Psychiatry 5 (2), 99-102.

Harder, S. (2006). Self-image and outcome in first-episode psychosis. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy (13), 285-296.

Rosenbaum, B. Valbak, K., Harder, S, Knudsen, P., Køster, A., Lajer, M. Lindhardt, A.. Winther, (2005). The Danish National Schizophrenia Project : A prospective comparative longitudinal treatment study of first-episode psychosis. British Journal of Psychiatry 186, 394-399.


In  Danish:

Rosenbaum, B & Harder, S. (2015) Psykoterapeutisk behandling af lidelser i det skizofrene spektrum. In: F Alberdi,  Sørensen, P.  Rosenbaum, B. Moderne psykoterapi. Reitzel. pp

Harder, S. & Simonsen, S. (2010): Udviklingspsykopatologi . In Erik Simonsen and Bo Møhl; Grundbog i Psykiatri. København: Reitzel

Udviklingspsykopatologi (Editorial) Væver,M.,  Lunn, S.,  Harder, S.,(2010), Psyke og Logos 31, 393-398.

Harder, S. (2010).Co-regulering og betydningsdannelse i psykoterapi ved psykose, Psyke og Logos 31, 611-628.

Væver, M., Harder, S, Køppe, S, Hansen, GF, (2010) Vokal og motorisk co-regulering i tidlig mor-barn interaktion:  En præsentation af forskningen ved Københavns Universitets BabyLab, Psyko og Logos 31, 736-766.

Harder, S., Væver, M. S. (2008)  Skizofreni. In  Harder, S. Jacobsen, B. Køppe, S. Lunn, S. Mathiesen, B. B. Væver, M. S. Sårbarhed : Diathese-stress modellen til diskussion. Hans Reitzel, 2008. pp 142-183

Væver, M. S., Harder, S. (2008) Udviklingspsykopatologi : et tværdisciplinært og integrerende udviklingspsykologisk perspektiv i studierne af psykopatologi. In  Harder, S. Jacobsen, B. Køppe, S. Lunn, S. Mathiesen, B. B. Væver, M. S.  Sårbarhed : Diathese-stress-modellen til diskussion. Hans Reitzel, 68-92.

Harder, S. (2006)  SASB - Structural Analysis of Social Behavior. Elsass, P., Ivanouw, J., Mortensen, E. L., Rosenbaum, B. Assessmentmetoder: håndbog for psykologer og psykiatere. 1. udg. København: Dansk Psykologisk Forlag, 2006. s. 561-589.

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