Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.
Helpguide co-founder, author, and emotional intelligence expert
Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., has been helping individuals and families for over 40 years as an innovator in the fields of emotional intelligence, holistic health, attachment, stress reduction, and relationships. She has written five books, which have been published in 13 languages.
In 1999, Dr. Segal and her husband, Robert, co-founded Helpguide.org, a nonprofit self-help website that gives readers the information and encouragement they need to take charge of their well-being and make healthy choices.. Helpguide provides expert, ad-free resources on mental health, relationships, parenting, aging well, nutrition, and other health topics. In 2013, the website reached over 65 million people.
Education & Early Career
Jeanne Segal’s holds 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.
As a licensed marriage and family counselor she had extensive experience working at Jewish Family Service in Los Angeles, with a highly respected group of oncologists at St. Joseph's Medical Center, as well as a busy private practice.
Her work at the Center for the Healing Arts led to a research project with cancer patients at UCLA. This 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.
These early career experiences led to new understandings in the role of emotional health in a person’s ability to overcome disabling or life-threatening health problems. She started exploring new methods for teaching the skills of moment-to-moment emotional awareness.
Dr. Segal believes in giving back to the community. She volunteers her time and expertise to numerous Los Angeles based organizations. Her present and past affiliations include:
- Executive Board Member of Threshold Foundation, an organization that funds individual and social projects that benefit health and well-being
- President of Center for Healthy Aging, a nationally-recognized “Point of Light” dedicated to improving the quality of life for older adults through better mental and physical health
- Executive Board member for Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), a public arts projects headed by Chicana artists whose purpose is to build community and heal ethnic rifts throughout LA
- Executive Board member and Director of Programs for the L.A. Women’s Foundation, an organization that serves the needs of poor and marginalized women and girls
- Co-founder and member of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Task Force on Homelessness
- President and founding member of Westside HIV/AIDS Task Force.
- Vice President of Step Up On Second, a program offering a wide range of services to the mentally ill.
- Santa Monica Westside YWCA board member
- President of Los Angeles Westside Rotary Club
Conferences & Educational Resources
Association for Humanistic Psychology holistic health conferences
During the late 1970s, Dr. Segal co-coordinated a series of three Los Angeles area community conferences for the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP). These conferences pioneered the introduction of holistic health principles and practices to the general public.
Dr. Segal was intrigued by the idea that you—as well as your doctor—were responsible your physical and emotional well-being bringing. Local AHP members were brought together to form a community that planned and executed the conference. With an emphasis on building relationship and community, nearly 80 people participated actively in planning and producing each three-day weekend conference.
Dr. Segal and the other conference coordinators partnered with Loyola Marymount University to create a supportive learning and social environment that balanced intense learning periods with social activities, healthy snacks and nutritious meals. Childcare was provided and school-aged children participating in their own learning program.
Many leaders in the new field of holistic health were eager to share their insights and willing to donate their services. Conference fees were kept to a minimum and each of the annual conferences was sold out with over 700 participants.
From Neurons to Neighborhoods community conferences
In 1993 and 1994, Dr. Segal co-coordinated two community conferences entitled From Neurons to Neighborhoods.
The second conference produced a 30-minute documentary video about psychological or emotional trauma in children taken from interviews conducted at the From Neurons to Neighborhoods community conferences. The documentary is an overview to help those who care about children recognize, prevent and heal psychological trauma. Internationally and nationally recognized authorities who work with children and teenagers in the field of emotional trauma, including Drs. Bruce Perry and Daniel Siegel, offer new insight and information about the origins of relationship/developmental problems, as well as problems associated with PTSD later in life.
New research on the brain is highlighted, as is information about how seemingly benign incidents bring about traumatic responses in young children. A central message of the documentary is that even though psychological trauma often goes unrecognized in children, emotional trauma is very responsive to relational repair.
Creating Secure Infant Attachment parenting video
Dr. Segal was the co-producer and narrator of a 22-minute video entitled Creating Secure Infant Attachment that teaches parents how to create a secure attachment bond with their baby and overcome challenges that make connecting difficult.
The secure attachment bond is the nonverbal emotional relationship between an infant and primary caregiver, defined by emotional responses to the baby's cues, as expressed through movements, gestures, and sounds. The success of this wordless relationship enables a child to feel secure enough to develop fully, and affects how he or she will interact, communicate, and form relationships throughout life. By understanding how you can better participate in this emotional interaction, you can ensure that your child has the best foundation for life.
Feeling Great (Newcastle Publishers, 1980)
Think back to the last time you felt great. An early morning sunrise, satisfaction at a project completed or a beautiful moment with someone special. Whatever the situation, you know the feeling.
This is a unique book. It will show you how those special moments, those times of feeling great can be created at your will, anytime you want, again and again.
Dr. Segal has recognized that dynamic changes in life-style and well-being can take place when the imagination is stimulated with new, positive images. Feeling Great leads you clearly and simply through 75 exercises/experiences that will help you develop and expand your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being for deep and lasting changes.
Feeling Great shows you how to:
- Make the most of your body
- Manage stress in the midst of change
- Balance and harmonize emotions
- Enhance and utilize intelligence, memory and dreaming toward creating a more powerful you
- Expand and release your sensual awareness
"Jeanne Segal has written a guidebook to human possibilities. Drawing upon her many years of study and application of methods in human potentiation, she has assembled some of the most valuable and practical of these techniques and managed to present them in a style at once charming and easy to follow."
– Jean Houston, Foundation of Mind Research
"People will be surprised at the extension of their health that will come from reading this book and doing the exercises."
– Gay Luce, author of Your Second Life
Living Beyond Fear (Ballantine Mass Market, 1989)
Facing fear and moving through it is one of the most demanding and exhilarating experiences in life. The reward for making the effort is personal transformation.
This book is the first to provide a self-study program that truly facilitates that journey through fear to more fully expressed vitality. Those who follow the course prescribed will experience more energy, self confidence, harmony, and fulfillment than they every dreamed possible.
"Jeanne Segal's Living Beyond Fear offers a guideline to all of us who are willing to deal with our fears. In my experience dealing with people with AIDS and cancer, this book is the type of resource needed to help them begin the healing process."
– Bernard S. Siegel, M.D., author of Love, Medicine and Miracles
After four editions published by Newcastle, the book was republished by Ballantine as a mass-market paperback, entitled Living Beyond Fear, Coping with the Emotional Aspects of Life-Threatening Illness.
Raising Your Emotional Intelligence (Henry Holt, 1997)
Emotions matter. Americans are becoming ever more aware that the ability to feel is as vital to our well-being as the ability to think. Yet as much as we may understand the critical importance of tuning in to our raw emotions, most of us can't figure out quite how to do it. How do we learn to master—and make use of—the often complex and confusing emotions within ourselves?
Raising Your Emotional Intelligence is the answer. Using a program of simple techniques developed through years of research, Jeanne Segal lays out the paths to true emotional intelligence. Self-assessment quizzes let you start by determining your current level of emotional awareness. From there, carefully designed exercises involve you in the critical phases of building emotional muscle and developing active emotional awareness. Special chapters on emotional intelligence at work, at home, and in love teach you how to apply these techniques to every aspect of your life.
Our emotions are the key to self-awareness and self-preservation. They connect us to our inner selves, to the people around us, to nature, and to the cosmos. Now, finally, we have the tools to truly increase our "EQ" and open the door on a richer and more fulfilling existence.
Raising Your Emotional Intelligence (Foreign language editions)
Raising Your Emotional Intelligence has been translated into many foreign language editions. The following is a representative sampling of the book covers:
The Language of Emotional Intelligence (McGraw-Hill, 2008)
It's no secret that emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in your relationships. But how do you apply these specialized skills to everyday life? It's easy—with this practical, ready-to-use guide by a renowned expert in the field of emotional intelligence and communication. Using the latest research and true-to-life examples, Dr. Jeanne Segal's step-by-step program shows you how to incorporate the five basic tools of emotional intelligence to enhance your relationships in the workplace, at home, and in all areas of your life.
You'll learn how to:
- "Read" other people
- Make powerful connections
- Defuse arguments and conflicts
- Repair wounded feelings
- Understand nonverbal cues
- Build stronger, more satisfying relationships
Packed with simple exercises, revealing self-quizzes, and proven calming techniques, this user-friendly guide can help you reach into the hearts and minds of others—sometimes without saying a word! Once you master the language of emotional intelligence, you'll be able to form mutually rewarding bonds that last a lifetime. Dr. Segal's method is a complete, hands-on approach to one of the most important life skills you will ever learn.