Psychologist, senior engineer, CNRS
In 2008, I joined what was then called Cesames, Centre for Research on Psychotropics, Mental Health and Society, directed by Alain Ehrenberg. Research themes revolved around the transition in contemporary societies from referring to mental illness to referring to mental health, resulting in changes in conceptions of mental illnesses, and contributing to the promotion of principles of mental health as norms of the sociality of the “normal” human being.
Since then, I have used my competencies in sociology, psychoanalysis and clinical psychology to conduct and participate in quantitative and qualitative research in the field of mental health, in particular concerning intra-familial violence and abuse, the withdrawal of adolescents, and the link between mental health and poverty.
Intra-familial violence and abuse: In the context of a research project on the psychosocial risks of infanticide, I was responsible for specifying the perpetrators and families involved, to clarify the judicial decisions related to these profiles and to envisage preventive measures destined for social workers and healthcare professionals. I prepared a psycho-relational profile of neonaticidal mothers, questioned the link between denial of pregnancy and neonaticide (and more broadly the link between psychopathology and infanticide), drew up a typology of perpetrators and families involved in the fatal shaking of babies, reflected on the influence of expert testimony in the judicial process, and described the social process (not only physiological or familial) of birth. I am currently collaborating with a multidisciplinary group for research on the prevention of child abuse (epidemiologists, paediatricians, forensic medical examiners, etc.). In addition, with Lise Demagny, statistician, I am carrying out secondary analysis of the study of access to children’s rights, carried out by the Defender of Rights (5000 interviews collected by Ipsos/Ined), notably from the perspective of the perception of children’s rights. I also have a role of scientific evaluation for major journals on the subject of intra-familial violence and abuse.
Withdrawal of adolescents: I participate in a France-Japan comparative research project on the withdrawal of young people, or hikikomori, and in a multidisciplinary study (social anthropology and educational sciences) on the withdrawal into the home of young people abandoning their studies or breaking off recognised forms of social integration. I am working as well on describing this new expression of adolescent malaise in modern Western societies. This research on adolescent withdrawal has been the object of numerous requests from the public domain (interviews and public discussions) and from mental health professionals (clinical workshops in several mental health facilities). I co-directed two books: “Hikikomori, ces adolescents en retrait”, published by Armand Colin, and “Que voir dans le ‘hikikomori’? – un monde qui se globalise et des individus qui s’isolent”, published in Japanese by Seidosha.
Mental health and casual employment: This new field in my research activities includes part of the research on adolescent social withdrawal, in its aspects related to difficulties entering the world of work. I also participate at the Local Mission in Paris in the MLADO research project, a Hospital Programme of Clinical Research (PHRC) whose objective is to follow depressed adolescents and young adults. With Nicolas Henckes, sociologist, I have submitted a research proposal to the DREES and the DARES on the theme “Health and work”. Finally, I am a consultant for an association with therapeutic goals that receives socially vulnerable persons.