My books have been translated into thirteen languages. I’ve created cutting-edge community conferences, lead workshops and seminars in many parts of the world, appeared on numerous radio and television shows, and created the nonprofit, ad-free website Helpguide.org with my husband Robert, a venture which now reaches over 50 million people each year.
Training and early research
I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Humanities, a Master’s degree in Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Sociology, with a specialty in Holistic Health. At the conclusion of my Ph.D. program, I led a research team working with cancer patients at UCLA. Our study found that cancer patients who were in touch and comfortable with a wide range of emotions, and aware of their emotions when making decisions, lived significantly longer than those who disowned their emotional experience.
While it seemed like a revelation at the time, it is now widely acknowledged that emotional health is a major factor in a person’s ability to overcome disabling or life-threatening health problems. With the knowledge that many people who suffer from chronic physical and emotional disabilities avoid their emotional experiences, I started exploring methods for teaching the skill of moment-to-moment emotional awareness. This is when I first began to develop Ride the Wild Horse, an audio meditation designed to increase emotional awareness. My books Feeling Great(1980) and Living Beyond Fear(1984, 1987 & 1989) also explored this process.
Professional affiliations and conferences
In the 1970s, I sat on the board of the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP) and worked alongside esteemed psychologist Carl Rogers. In the late 70s and early 80s I also worked with brain researcher and AHP president Dr. Jean Houston. In 1984, at the height of the Cold War, I was part of a group invited by the Soviet Union to meet with Russian psychologists. While in the USSR,Elana Rubenfeld and I created a work exchange program for US and Russian psychologists that continued until the end of the Cold War.
While on the board of AHP, I also coordinated a series of holistic health conferences with my husband, Robert Segal, and Dr. Jaelline Jaffe. The success and impact of these conferences—the first of their kind in the field—inspired me to create another series of conferences in the early 90s after I became aware that studies in the fields of education, child development, and neurology all linked brain development to the emotional relationship between infants and their caretakers. In 1993 and 1994, I organized From Neurons to Neighborhoods, two Los Angeles community conferencesthat brought together brain and child development experts with parents and LA County mental health workers serving children and their families. This conference led to the Helping Children Heal video and the Healing Resources website. In 2008, I created a second video,Creating Secure Attachment, for both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking parents. My excitement about the brain discoveries of the 90s led to my next two books:Raising Your Emotional Intelligence (1997) and The Language of Emotional Intelligence (2008).
Helpguide: A nonprofit, ad-free mental health website
My husband, Robert, and I launched Helpguide.org in 1999, following the suicide of our beloved daughter, Morgan Leslie Segal. Our goal was to honor her life by providing Internet users with the kind of information that may have prevented her death. Helpguide is focused on providing articles that are motivating, balanced, and ad-free—easy to look at, easy to understand, and above all useful. Today, Helpguide is one of the largest mental health websites in the world, with over 25 million visitors each year.
Books by Dr. Segal
- The Language of Emotional Intelligence: The Five Key Skills for Building Powerful and Effective Relationships (McGraw-Hill, 2008)
- Raising Your Emotional Intelligence: A Practical Guide for Harnessing the Power of Your Instincts and Emotions (Henry Holt, 1997)
- Living Beyond Fear: Coping with the Emotional Aspects of Life-Threatening Illness (Ballantine Mass Market, 1989)
- Feeling Great: A Personal Program to Speed Healing and Enhance Wellness (Newcastle Publishers, 1980)