New psychologist at CERN

A new psychologist, Sigrid Malandain, started work at CERN on 1 November. The psychologist’s office, formerly part of the Social Affairs Service in Human Resources, has now moved to the Medical Service (office 57-1-024). It is open every Tuesday and Thursday.


The new psychologist, Sigrid Malandain.

Working in an organisation like CERN has numerous advantages. However, as in any professional setting, the work can sometimes bring stress, anxiety, overwork and so on. For this reason, a few years ago CERN brought in a psychologist for the staff. “As a psychologist, my role isn’t just to deal with known problems, but also to make assessments and, if possible, prevent difficult situations arising. Sometimes people realise that something is wrong, but they can’t say why. In such cases, I may be able to use a discussion to assess the nature of the problem and determine if further sessions are needed. If that is the case, I can either conduct the sessions myself or refer the individual to colleagues outside CERN,” explains Sigrid.

The psychologist is available for consultation for any problem, large or small; it may be related to the job, or it may be an individual or private matter. “The earlier a problem is addressed, the easier it is to resolve it. Unfortunately, we often tend not to think of consulting a psychologist until the problem has become seriously entrenched. Professional confidentiality is our watchword, and our consultations remain strictly confidential,” states Sigrid.

The members of the CERN personnel today have at their disposal various means of obtaining support: a psychologist, the Ombudsman, social assistance, the Equal Opportunities Advisory Panel, and the doctors. Deciding whom to see may not be very clear. The answer is very simple: when you go to see any one of those professionals, they will advise you and orient you towards the appropriate service to consult.

The curriculum vitae of Sigrid Malandain

Of French and Swedish nationality, Sigrid did her studies in Switzerland and France. After earning her secondary school diploma, she went to Grenoble for two years, and obtained her DEUG (Diplôme d’Etudes Universitaires Générales) in psychology. She then went to Lausanne to study for three more years, and received her Master’s degree in psychology there. In parallel, she pursued a five-year postgrad training programme in behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy. Today, Sigrid spends three days a week working as a psychologist and psychotherapist in a private practice with a psychiatrist colleague in Lausanne. She started her career working in hospitals, including the adult psychiatric wards in Prangins and Marsens (Switzerland) and the child psychiatric ward in Mâcon (France).

by Laëtitia Pedroso