Prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD

Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist

Professor Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, is a full-time professor with a permanent position, she is a clinical psychologist, an integrative psychotherapist for children, adolescents and adults, a permanent court expert for abused and traumatized children. Throughout her rich career, she has been involved in the protection of children, their mental health and their rights. As a child psychologist at the Zagreb Children’s Clinic, she often met abused and neglected children who did not have the necessary protection from adults. She was among the first to recognize this problem in Croatia in the early 1990s, and dedicated herself to these children throughout her entire career. She is the founder of the counseling line for abused and neglected children “Hrabri Telefon” in 1997. and the initiator of the establishment of the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center in Zagreb in 2002. During her mandate as director, the Center was recognized by the Council of Europe as a model of good practice in the protection of sexually abused children. Professor Buljan Flander presented the Council of Europe Campaign to stop sexual violence against children in Europe, “One in Five,” at the United Nations in New York in 2010. In 2008, under her leadership, the Center received the Multidisciplinary Team Award from the International Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) among more than 180 countries of the world. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in the field of child rights protection in 2018, as well as the National Science Award in 2019. Through her scientific, clinical and public activities, she stood out as a person who promotes the protection of children. She is a respected university teacher at several faculties and a scientist who has been awarded a number of professional and scientific awards, and with her involvement in the extremely difficult period of the pandemic and earthquake in 2020 and 2021, she also stood out for her special contribution to the protection of the mental health of children and families in the city of Zagreb. Author and editor of 12 scientific and professional books, dozens of chapters in books and university textbooks, almost a hundred scientific and professional papers, manuals and brochures, all on the topic of child protection, their mental health and their rights. She has conducted a series of national scientific research related to children’s experiences in the field of stress, trauma and negative experiences in childhood. Professor Buljan Flander regularly holds educations and invited lectures in the countries of the region, as well as in other European countries. As an expert in the field of child protection, she is engaged in European projects, a consultant for UNICEF Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia, and she also cooperates with UNICEF BiH. As an expert, she cooperates with OSCE and IOM. After leaving the post of director of the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center in 2022, after 20 years of fruitful work in the best interest of children, she continues to provide treatments, education, counseling and supervision through her private practice GBF Educa d.o.o. As a full- time professor, she teaches students at Croatian Studies, at the Faculty of Law and the Edward Bernays College in Zagreb, and at the Faculty of Law and the Study of Social Work in Osijek. As a licensed integrative psychotherapist for children, adolescents and adults, she educates future psychotherapists in this field of psychotherapy in Zagreb and Sarajevo.