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Lost and Found - The Author


Jan Elise Sells, M.Ed., M.A., L.M.F.T. (#27505), is a licensed psychotherapist in Berkeley, California. In 1986 she developed a unique counseling program consisting of individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, conflict resolution, and a Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) in one of the three inner-city public middle schools in Berkeley: Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.

After three years volunteering as a counselor at King, the school administrators found local grant money to fund her; Jan expanded the counseling program there over a period of two decades, funded through grants written by the school principal.

Every year Jan trained and supervised Marriage Family Therapists interns and school counselor trainees, as well as licensed psychotherapists from the community who volunteered in her program. In addition, Jan trained community volunteers to be mentors and mediators. King students considered it "cool" to have a counselor. King's counseling program was so successful, the model was brought to the two other middle schools in Berkeley, where personal counseling, crisis intervention, conflict resolution and a GSA are integral parts of the Berkeley middle school culture today.

In recognition of her work at King, Jan was one of seven honorees to receive an award as Outstanding Woman of Berkeley for the year 2006, which coincided with her retirement from King. Meanwhile, Jan has also taught at U.C. Berkeley Extension; in 1996 she began teaching "Effective Interventions with Adolescents in Crisis," which became a popular course in their Adolescents program.

Jan has been interviewed on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition" and in the journal of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, The Turning Wheel, as well as local newspapers such as The Berkeley Voice and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Jan Elise Sells is presently on the staff of Saint Mary's College in Moraga, CA, as a Lecturer/Supervisor working with students in the Graduate Counseling Program. She also gives workshops on Crisis Intervention with Youth to other school districts and agencies in the Bay area and beyond.

Jan continues to supervise interns who work with students at King Middle School, where the program she created is still going strong. Jan is available for consultation, demonstrations, and workshops. She may be reached by email at Send her an email if you'd like to receive her newsletters and updates.

"Live" Appearances


Friday and Saturday, November 8 & 9, Jan had a booth for LOST and FOUND at the Fall Seminar of the California Association of Marriage/Family Therapists (CAMFT, of which she's a member) in Anaheim, CA.

See the newest review of LOST and FOUND in the Nov/Dec issue of CAMFT's journal, The Therapist. Check out the great ad, page 49, and wonderful review, page 73.

Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 6:30-7:30  Author Talk: Youth Poetry, Talk, Reading, Q & A
Berkeley Public Library, Claremont Branch, 2940 Benvenue Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705 tel (510) 981-6280
Refreshments served--Free and open to the public  PLEASE JOIN US

Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year's theme, "The Multicultural Classroom"
at the 3rd Annual Peaceful Schools Conference of Mount Diablo's Peace & Justice Center
The Seven Hills School, 975 North San Carlos Drive Walnut Creek, CA 94598 tel (925) 933-0666
Jan will present "The Albatrossian Greeting Ceremony": a cross-cultural simulation
$45 for full day conference, includes workshops and lunch.

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 7-9:30 p.m. Author Event: Mindful Matters--Helping Youth in Crisis
at the home of Lyn Fein, 3130 Claremont Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705  cost: by donation
Talk and reading by Jan; Sharing by all participants.
A frangrance-free, alcohol-free dessert pot-luck (You're welcome to bring a dessert to share!)

Wednesday, Mar 19, 7-9 pm "A Bright Red Obsession: Cutting"  Lecture, Reading, Q & A
Hart Middle School, 4433 Willow Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588
Free and open to the public  PLEASE JOIN US!

Sunday, Mar 30, 7:30 pm KPFA 94.1 fm, "The Week Starts Here" w/ Veronica Faisant
Tune in to hear Jan interviewed about publishing her book, LOST and FOUND; call in to ask Jan questions!

Thursday, April 3, noon-2 pm "Understanding the Armor of Adolescent Anger & How to Help"
Workshop, Reading, Q&A
  1.5 CEU's for LCSW's and MFT's; $20 for non-FRC Staff; free for FRC Staff
Fremont Family Resource Center, 39155 Liberty St, Suite A110, Fremont, CA 94539   Ph: (510) 574-2006
Open to all mental health professionals! Bring your lunch!

Friday, June 20, 5:30 pm KTDE fm radio, Gualala, CA, 100.5 Fun! Fun! Fun! Interview with Frogman Joel

Tune in to hear Jan interviewed about Lost and Found in preparation for Jan's Reading the following day.

Saturday, June 21, 4 pm, Reading from LOST and FOUND at Four-Eyed Frog Books, Cypress Village, Gualala, CA  Everyone welcome! Free of charge!

Thursdays--June 19, 26, July 3, 10, and 24, 6:45-9:30 pm "Working Effectively with Youth in Crisis Using Brief Grief Therapy"  @  Saint Mary's College, Moraga, CA. Counseling 567 based on Jan's book, LOST and FOUND: HEALING TROUBLED TEENS IN TROUBLED TIMES. Course will be open to graduate students in both Counseling and Education, and will offer 12 units in continuing education (CEU's) to mental health professionals. To register for the course for CEUs,  go to:  Register for academic credit on


Thurs, May 14 - Sun, May17, 2015 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott, Burlingame, CA.
"Brief Grief Therapy: Helping to Heal Traumatized Teens"
, presented by Jan at the California Association of Marriage/Family Therapists’ 51th Annual Conference: “Bridging the Art and Science of Healing” 

Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA summer 2015, Daylong workshop for parents, teachers--anyone working with youth--entitled "Mindfulness Matters: Effective Interventions with Troubled T(w)eens". This will be offered in the new building presently under construction. Stay tuned for details!


Jan has been invited to be a member of the Educators' Advisory Council of the international PROJECT HAPPINESS, which is "dedicated to inspiring and empowering people with resources to create greater happiness within themselves and the world." See their moving video, Project Happiness, which includes, among many extraordinary people, George Lucas, Richard Gere and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. It focuses on four teens, each facing personal obstacles, and shows how Project Happiness "offers life-changing insights" to them, and to people of all ages. Starting in May, Jan will be a guest blogger for their website. See her there.

Sunday, Oct 28, 2012, Jan Elise Sells Interviewed by Veronica Faisant on KPFA f.m.

Saturday, Nov 3, 2012, See videos on the home page about the big Book Launch Party for LOST and FOUND @ King Middle School

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. (+ 15 minutes for Q&A)
Free TELECONFERENCE on Healing Grieving Teens with Jan and Dr. Michelle Peticolas, Grief Transformation Specialist and filmmaker, Secrets of Life and Death
For more info:
Sign up here:

Monday, March 4, 2013, 12-1:30 p.m. SafePlace Community Room, Austin, TX, for more information click here. I've been invited to give a talk to the Healthy Youth Partnership and its members at the George Washington Carver Community Center Library, Austin, Texas.

Saturday, March 9, 2013, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., UC Berkeley Extension course: "Healing Troubled Teens in Troubled Times" 6 hours CE credit: BRN, LCSW/MFT and psychologists Berkeley, Room 211, 1995 University Avenue $195 EDP 446641

Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 6-9 p.m., (tentative date) Friendly Favors presents a talk by Jan @ Mt.Diablo Peace Center, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA - Click on "Events" at for confirmation and details.

Friday, April 26, 2013, 7-8:30 p.m., Reading + Q & A at the beautiful Claremont Hotel in Berkeley (Park in hotel parking lot. Ask at front desk for room assignment.)

Wednesday, May 1, 7 p.m., Reading, Book Signing, Q & A (FREE) for PTA & the public,Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School (where the stories in LOST and FOUND take place!)  1781 Rose Street, Berkeley 94703  Enter on Grant Street; a sign will tell you the location.

Friday, May 10, 11:45 a.m, Noon Luncheon at the Berkeley City Commons Club, which meets on the 2nd floor of the beautiful City Club building designed by architect Julia Morgan, 2315 Durant Ave, Berkeley < Reading and Q & A begin at 12:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. Delicious lunch, $18 (advanced reservations advised—phone Jane Barrett, 510-845-8055) or just coffee, if you wish, $1.

Wednesday, June 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Bay Area Writing Project’s Monthly Reading Series, Expressions Gallery, 2035 Ashby Avenue (near Adeline--close to Ashby BART) Reading + Q & A (light refreshments served) FREE!

Vimeo of Jan's presentation at the Peace Center in Walnut Creek on March 19, 2013:

2013-03-19 FF Jan Elise Sells from Sergio Lub on Vimeo.

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