Praise for Edgework

Article in Gray’s Harbor’s  DAILY WORLD

Fantastic Training. The man takes risks! I did not agree with everything Mr. Amdur said, but he sure did make me think and even re-think some well-held notions. – Domestic Violence Advocate, Port Townsend, WA

Article in Port Townsend’s Peninsula Daily News

He gives you a plan when dealing with the mentally ill. It gives a little more structure to the off-the-wall behavior that some mentally ill people demonstrate. I would make it a too day course! – Street Outreach Worker, Twin Falls, Idaho

Article in Hoquiam’s The Vidette

I just wanted to say thank you for bringing Ellis out to do the training with us last week. In my 2 years at D. Children Services I thought it was the best training by far we have ever had. I was very inspired! I was particularly inspired by the stories he has told and the little tricks he taught us. Best of all, he does great impressions of the various parents who are in crisis and aggressive. it really helps me to ‘see’ the aspects he is talking about. – Children’s Therapist

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you again for coming to our agency and providing us great insight with  suggestions and methods to help us navigate the future as well as put some demons to rest.  I have received such positive feedback about you and the ‘class’.  This is rather unusual for our group to be positively unanimous on one topic.  When you and I first spoke I was looking for something outside our usual training and you certainly lived up to my hope and expectation, I cannot thank you enough. – Oregon 9-1-1 Dispatch (concerning training on resilience)

Wow! Bring this guy back. Especially after lunch segment–keeps you wide awake with his role playing. Awesome instructor. I almost skipped the course, but i’m glad I didn’t. Mr. Amdur took possibly greatly boring subject and made it interesting and got the info across in a way that stayed with me.  – Emergency Medical Technician, Oregon

Thank you for addressing all areas of how to deal with a suicidal person to include dispatch, officers and probation. You should teach this at every police academy. Other classes cover the basics but you made it real and usable. – Peoria, Illinois 9-1-1 Dispatch

Today was my first day back and I used some of the training! My partner used the de-escalation tactics on a psychotic person that was standing in the middle of a busy roadway (in the turn lane between east and west bound) because ‘voices’ were telling him to jump in front of a car to kill himself. The ‘island of sanity’ was to start talking with him playing football in college  (Big guy!)  We explained what was going to occur and what the ambulance workers would do when they arrived.  He settled down and walked to the ambulance himself without incident.  Moments later, we were sent on a call at a large parking lot regarding a boyfriend attempting to break the window on his girlfriend’s car, who was nearby.  He did not hit her and was gone on arrival.  Instead of clearing the call and thinking he was just ‘blowing out steam’, we both were thinking this was what you called a ‘displacement activity,’ to build up to more aggression.  So I asked her about what he was saying during this. It was very abusive toward her with obscene language. Due to your training, I recognized the danger of this behavior and continued with this investigation. It turns out he had prior assaults, and it was escalating it each time.  I talked to her for about 20 minutes and recommended shelters and counseling programs available.  She really seemed like she was going to follow through. I felt so strongly about your material and teaching style that I wanted to commend you on an excellent class. – Police Officer, North Las Vegas, Nevada

Ellis did a wonderful job mimicking the behaviors that an aggressive or emotionally disturbed person might display so we could get a better understanding of de-escalation techniques. – Volunteer, PAWS Animal Shelter

I work in a residential program for mentally ill adults, and the evening after your training, we had the pleasure of an unwanted guest in our facility. He became very aggressive and manipulative, clearly displaying the behaviors you called ‘predatory rage.’ He was calm and smiling through the whole episode. I want you to know that because of your training, not only did I recognize these behaviors, I knew what methods would be effective in controlling him and the situation. We gave him cryptic consequences, just like you said. In the end, he left (without the money he was demanding from one of our residents). – Residential Supervisor, Eastside Mental Health, Bellevue, WA

Extremely informative. Should be required training at any law enforcement academy. Mr. Amdur clearly understands the people he serves. – Police Officer, Multnomah County, Oregon

The best part of the training was the methodology on breathing, to maintain my calm despite the provocation of the angry and desperate people we deal with. So good that I’m switching my plans for Tuesday’s workshops to go see him again – Child Protective Social Work at Children’s Justice Conference

I appreciated Mr. Amdur’s honesty and bluntness, and no-holds-barred, style. Much easier to respect and believe than some training that is ‘P.C.’ Our job experience is rarely that. – Psych Tech, State Hospital South, Blackfoot, Idaho

It was very evident that Ellis had a tremendous amount of life experience and knowledge in this field and I am very grateful that he shared it with us. I only wish he could teach for one more day. – T-Mobile Security Personnel

Great use of stories and personal experience to illustrate and highlight your points. These were not just ‘war stories’ – they really were teaching examples. You are very knowledgeable about the subject and can play in role all the various types of individuals with mental illness. This was particularly stunning as you were playing to ‘English type.’ Not the accent, of course, but the context was exactly what we face in London, the way the system is set up. You must be a quick study since you’ve arrived here! – Social Worker, Chelsea and Kensington Borough, London

Not a power point in sight! Four hours and he hardly looked at a note. He just knew his stuff. Great speaker. He was able to answer every question asked with something directly applicable to our job. I could listen to his talks all day – EMT, Skagit County, WA

I wanted to take time to tell you how much my staff and I enjoyed the De-escalation Training.  Ellis was fantastic and I will recommend him to everyone I know for this kind of training.   Can you please forward him our thanks.  This job has been particularly challenging lately and I find myself remiss in letting people know how much I appreciate them.   I really would have like to have spent more time talking to Ellis after the training and let him know how much I appreciated his time and the information that he shared. – Supervisor of PACT unit for chronically mentally ill patients

Awesome! I like the fact that he has taken the time and energy to learn about our job and how to best train us in dealing with people in his job. A true trainer.  Lots of information, but not over-powering in regards to it. He is realistic, energetic and funny – Staff at Residential Facility for Intellectually Disabled People

He has an amazing ability to become the characters we come in contact with. This is helpful in visualizing the use of the tools he is offering in a way that applied to law enforcement.  He is very in tune with the realities of street level policing. And he does this remarkably well for someone with no law enforcement experience. – Sheriff’s Deputy, Lyon County, Nevada

The most helpful components of Mr. Amdur’s training were his real-world view of life. His training on de-escalation was superb. His role-playing was very in-depth. Communication strategies/personality disorders, suicide assessment and interventions. Excellent use of examples. Dynamic speaker. The honest delivery of not only the clinical information but especially the truth of how to recognize and handle street situations.  Parole/Probation Officer, Fargo, North Dakota

I particularly appreciated your take on ‘compassion.’ You are right: bleeding-hearts are not necessarily compassionlate, and in the end, do not show the subjects of their concerns the respect that they deserve. Cops see this every day. Thanks again for keeping the class interesting and not ‘teaching down’ to us. – Police Officer, Champaign, IL

I’d love my son and daughter to take a workshop. One is in high school and the other entering college. – an attendee at a Worksite Safety training.

 I just wanted to thank you for your time and for sharing with me. I very much enjoy attending your trainings and presentations; I suppose you could call me a fan. I think you’ve influenced me as much as anyone. There have been several situations when I’ve actually asked myself, “What would Ellis do?” So far, so good! Thanks again – Substance Abuse Treatment Specialist, Clark County, WA

This was the first speaker on the subject of de-escalation of mentally ill inmates  that truly and consistently provided information that will assist in my job – Correctional Officer, Washington State

Mr. Amdur, I did not volunteer to take your class.  My Lt signed me up and, forgive my attitude, but I was dreading having to sit in a classroom all day.  On top of that I had worked the night shift prior and was very tired.  I am usually turned off by non-cops teaching cops how to do our jobs.  Often times instructors come across as naive or arrogant.  You were neither. The material was very informative.  I have only been a cop for 6 years.  My first 5 years was working downtown Seattle, around the shelters and the homeless. I was so tired of dealing with “the mentals” that last year I transferred to a different area of the city.  You see, no one taught me how to deal with those people.  I quickly found myself tired and frustrated with my job and felt less and less like a cop and more like a naive, uneducated social worker.  I knew it was time to change assignments when I just stopped caring.  Had I taken your class when I was first hired I believe I could have learned and practiced a better way of dealing with the mentally ill.   Thank you for presenting this material in a way that entertains cops – that’s not easy!! I gave good feedback to my peers and Lt on how impressed I was with your class.  – Police Officer, Seattle, WA

Today we had an issue with one of our inmates.  He is someone who has been very volatile in the past and has spent some time in the blue room.  He has used the resources of our mental health services and chaplain services on an almost daily basis. Today, he was at a point for a face to face confrontation with staff.  The last time this happened he ended up in the blue room while being resistive.  I observed Lt. Cognard without his knowledge as he entered the block with Jamison and used verbal skills to calm him,  and have him walk out of the block with Lt. Cognard.  Lt. Cognard then went with him in the rec area and they walked back and forth together while they conversed about the issues and why Jamison was having a hard time.  This went on for a while.  They then came back in and Jamison returned to the block without any issues. I asked Lt. Cognard what happened and he advised me that he used his skills that he had just been trained on (Safe Behind Bars) to find out what the heart of the problem was for Jamison and worked with him on resolving that problem. Lt. Cognard displayed great supervisory skills and resolved a situation that could have quickly escalated with another officer. You should be proud to know that he is an employee representing you in the jail and shaping the future of your staff. – a memo to the Acting Director of a Correctional Facility (NOTE: name of inmate and Lt changed)