Segal Counseling

Battered Heart

About My First Book : Battered Heart

   In her memoir Battered Heart, Latvian-born Aina Segal, for years a nomadic refugee, now a successful psychotherapist in Sarasota, takes her place on the other side of the couch. Segal, outwardly elegant and self-assured, unzips her heart, spilling out and examining her life as a displaced person seeking a physical and emotional home.
In a world where the media presents horrifying, often mind-numbing news of tragedy, Segal personalizes the cruelty of war.

   Her own account of loss and determination chronicles Aina, who was 6 years old when the nightmarish journey began, moved from one DP camp to the next, surviving by the single-minded strength and creativity of her mother and, when he finally found them, her father. "I was startled out of my sleep by my mother's screams. The cavernous room was totally dark, and I screamed with her because she was my reality and I was an extension of her experience..."
In a world turned upside down, Aina's mother concocts a plan that includes a journey through the unplanned graveyard of a bombed neighborhood for the sake of clean clothes, a hot bath, and a moment of sanity. But it is only one glorious moment, then the next upheaval, the next deportation, and the next bout of standing in line for meager rations. "Mother was given work as a seamstress repairing uniforms for the army...Mother told me that she was afraid to find body parts; blood still clung to the fabric, as they did not seem to have been washed. The rows of sewing machines lined a long room located in a magnificent old museum. We were housed upstairs in one of the galleries with hundreds of other refugees; none spoke our native language.

"Dr. Aina O. Segal, L.M.H.C. comments: "When your ordinary life is interrupted by huge events, how do you make sense of it? I can tell not only what survival and redemption feel like, but as a psychotherapist, I can teach you how to do it."

Excerpts from Battered Heart © 2006 Aina Segal Published by The Peppertree Press

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