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Lost and Found: Healing Troubled Teens in Troubled Times
Reach And Teach says:
When Summer Brenner, (Reach And Teach author of Ivy Homeless in San Francisco), recommends a book, we take notice! Thank you Summer for suggesting we carry this book. Now.... we've got to read it so we can make our own personal recommendation but in the meantime... here's what the author/publisher says:
About the Book:
This book invites you into a counseling office at a contemporary urban middle school as students show up, open up, and share their pain. With help over time, they heal and find hope.
In the words of the author: With my counseling team, we helped lost kids find themselves. "Some of the students you will meet within these pages were in conflict with their peers; many were in conflict with parents, guardians, and/or our society at large. Some had been abused by adults; some had been abandoned. Some had witnessed the lives of those they loved taken through drugs or violence. Some were trying to numb their pain through alcohol, drugs, or injury to themselves. Some were threatening violence to others. Some students wanted to give up altogether and take their own lives. All of them were deeply troubled.
With our support, most of these resilient young people made it through those challenging times. I felt privileged to know them-to be allowed into their worlds to help them make positive choices. Many have stayed in touch with me and are still part of my life. Here are their stories-true stories of troubled teens (and preteens) who came to me feeling lost and allowed me to help them find healing.
It is my hope that my experiences will guide you when working with your own or other troubled teens. Unfortunately, they are everywhere; fortunately we can help them.
A must-read for teachers and parents, this rare and remarkable book will reward everyone with a teenager in their life. -Joanna Macy, author of Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in Without Going Crazy
Lost and Found provides a valuable map for supporting young people through the most difﬁcult issues they face. The clarity, heartfulness and wisdom in this book is a treasure for any parent or adult working with teens. Highly recommended.
—James Baraz, author of Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness
- Author: Jan Elise Sells
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Siren Swan Press (October 2, 2012)
- ISBN: 978-1467544160
About the Author:
Jan Elise Sells, M.Ed., M.A., 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 “Week End 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Author (describing details about the book):
Each story is filled with dialogue that portrays effective counseling with young people - individuals as well as groups, families, and school staff. Compelling examples of conflict resolution and crisis intervention are demonstrated throughout the book.
What you experience, through true stories and commentary, is a comprehensive model of intervention and cross-cultural competency that works with youth in crisis on the ‘front lines.’
As you read LOST and FOUND, you meet a diverse array of young people between the ages of eleven and eighteen; many are the ‘walking wounded’ of our society. Some of them maintain contact with me into young adulthood and you witness their lives transform - like Anthony, who poured out his life in spoken word at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and became a national poetry slam champion in 2006 at the age of eighteen.
You meet Dawn in her struggle to ‘come out’ as a lesbian at King Middle School. Later, in high school, s/he undergoes a more challenging transformation: ‘coming out’ as Dusk, he has even more to cope with. Surprises await him at Berkeley High School. You, the reader, follow her/his amazing story, “From Dawn to Dusk: A Story of Transformation.”
When twelve-year-old Oscar phones his mom and threatens to burn down their house, shoot his family, and then take his own life, you observe me respond - at school and in the community - you see me struggle to understand how gangs have taken their toll on Oscar’s life.
When Camille, age thirteen, shows me the fresh scars etched into her back - imprints of her father’s belt - you sit in on the reporting process and witness my frustration with the appalling mishandling of her case by Child Protective Services. You feel me tremble when Camille’s angry father finds out about the report and pounds on my office door: “I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU, MS. SELLS!”
You are present when Cary, a sixth grader, asks for a conflict resolution with a bully who called him “gay”. After a successful mediation, Cary turns to me and asks, “What if I am gay, Ms. Sells?” Thus begins ongoing support for Cary, pro-active work against homophobia at King, and the creation of the first middle school Gay/Straight Alliance in the nation. You are there.
When Lilia’s mother is killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing a busy intersection inside the crosswalk, the lovely Peruvian eighth grader is devastated and outraged. You observe the bereavement counseling step by step as Lilia comes to terms with her grief and creates a memorial to her mother.
Those are some of the many true stories of young people you get to know and care about in LOST and FOUND. Not only are the stories gripping in and of themselves, the book also details effective communication and support strategies I learned (the hard way) over twenty years of this work.
My book is engaging while at the same time eminently useful for any adults - particularly parents, teachers, counselors, clergy, and youth workers - who play a role in the lives of today’s teens. We are all part of the ‘village’ that raises these young people.