On the surface of things, I am a writer, a teacher, a lecturer, and a practicing clinical hypnotherapist. My writing life as taken me across a myriad of media and a number of countries, leading finally to a great respect for the power of words. I began as a novelist (The Newman Factor), became a journalist (columnist for the Australian Magazine, Follow Me), wrote for a daytime TV series (General Hospital), became Vice President, Creative Copy Supervisor of an international advertising agency in New York (Ogilvy & Mather Promotions), and, realizing through all of this how words can provoke, inspire, harm, or heal, can even influence and change a life’s course, I decided to use my skills in the service of good.
Interview with ABC Good Morning America
Between the Lines Interview – Part 1
Between the Lines Interview – Part 2
Presentation: Verbal First Aid pacing
Emergency in Tucson: Verbal First Aid in Action
Welcoming Miranda and Orlando’s New Baby
Doctor-Parent Partnership for Maximizing Children’s Health
The New Science of Self-Healing For Children: Verbal First Aid
Verbal First Aid: Healing the Scars of Bullying
Verbal First Aid Training
I offer a 1-hour overview, 3-hour training, or full day/weekend workshops in Verbal First Aid. I have trained physicians, nurses, EMTs, firefighters other first responders at university medical centers, fire departments, and at seminars across the United States and around the world in this life-saving protocol.
In my office in Redondo Beach I provide 1-3 hour sessions to help heal trauma, to reclaim the lost self, to help heal the mind/body, and to help people live up to their full potential.
With the Bonding With the Baby Within program, individual sessions to help pregnant mothers use hypnosis techniques for birth, and the prenatal lullaby, I have helped support babies’ entry into the world gently and with awareness that they are developing their emotional templates and consciousness for life at this important formative time.
Our session together was extraordinary. I’m awed that you were able to understand all the interrelated issues in my life, focus on the key problems, integrate everything that has happened in the past with what I wish to accomplish in the future, and not only enable me to feel like my pain and suffering has had a purpose, but that I’m entering this wondrous new stage in which I can use what I have learned to benefit others.”
—Susan Bernard, Wellness Writer, author, The Mommy Guide
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your profound and healing work. Before our session, I was not able to get over the agonizing emotional anguish and debilitating grief of losing my sister, a victim of incest and self-inflicted suicide. After our first session, this just disappeared and I experienced a miracle of freedom from this burden that was killing me inside….The following morning I woke up ‘clear as a bell’. This has been truly instrumental in catapulting my life, especially continuing to fulfill my purpose and calling–my non-profit organization in honor of my deceased sister, Joanne Lee.”
Love, light and blessings eternally,
Birth and Parenting
“Working with you has made me a much more confident parent. Using the techniques you taught me when I was pregnant with Owen, I now regularly tell him about potentially troubling things that are going to happen (doctor’s visits, for instance) beforehand and talk him through them before, during and after. And, I think of that exercise that we did imagining him in a safe purple light whenever confusing things are happening that don’t have to do with him. And, I tell him that he’s safe and what’s happening isn’t about him. So you see, you continue to be a big support. And, I’m so glad that other parents will benefit from your wisdom with your programs [hypnosis for birth, Bonding With The Baby Within CD and program] and your new book.”
“Where would we be without her?! Judith’s professional guidance and expertise during both of my pregnancies was invaluable, her heartfelt presence and support eased us through some bumpy times. Our family is forever grateful!”
“I don’t know where to start about how much you helped me be a more confident parent. I guess the basic thing is that you helped me see that I could face my own fears. By doing that, I learned that I could help my son face his own. It also helped me separate out what scared me vs. what is scary for him. For instance, when he cries, it animates a whole process in me that has nothing (or very little to do) with what he is trying to express to me — a basic need. My work with you helped me see the emotions that are mine, put them aside for when I’m by myself, and then focus on listening to him. It also helped teach me that one of the most important things I can give him is a receptive, kind space to be who he is and express his wants. That’s what you gave me — the experience of a receptive, kind space. And, I am so grateful for that.”
Testimonials for The Worst Is Over and for the Verbal First Aid Trainings
[The Worst Is Over] is a major contribution to healing and one of the most original books I have read in some time. At this moment in history, when many wish totally to give healing over to drugs, genome manipulation, and stem cells, we need this message more than ever – that human consciousness, and the ways we choose to communicate with one another, can make the difference in life and death. Larry Dossey, MD Author: Healing Words and Healing Beyond the Body
The Worst Is Over will be known as the seminal work for teaching compassionate crisis intervention communication to anyone who works with medical and emotional emergencies. All future books by others will reference this source as the “bible” for crisis communication. Patti White, Ph.D., Editor, International Journal of Emergency Mental Health. Vol. 4, No. 2, Spring 2002.
The Worst Is Over is like an answer to a prayer. It gives everyone, from parent to firefighter, the knowledge and courage to say exactly the right thing at the right time in a way that is healing, uplifting, and also life-saving. Christiane Northrup, M.D. Author, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom (Bantam, 1998) and The Wisdom of Menopause (Bantam, March 2001)
“I want to thank you for presenting at Medical Grand Rounds at Children’s Hospital of Orange County…and extended seminars for team members from Endocrinology, Pulmonary, and Oncology…. [Verbal First Aid] has given me a new language in working with patients to promote healing, a way of being honest with them without being negative or setting them up for the worst outcomes…I cannot thank you enough for spending these days with us and teaching us these skills. As we practice this technique with our patients and their families and improve our skills, we have an opportunity to promote healing more than ever before. Thank you for opening up a new dimension of health care that will benefit our patients and give us a sense of satisfaction for truly being healers.” Susan J. Clark, M.D., Director, Endocrinology, Children’s Hospital of Orange County
Dear Dr. Prager,Your CME lecture at Glendale Memorial Hospital was the very best one we’ve had in a long time. Right after the talk, many colleagues stopped me to thank me for organizing your lecture. Your teaching is already making us better doctors. I am personally using your technique on a daily basis with my patients. With Respect, S Mike Neskovic, MD, AAFP, AQGM Glendale Memorial Hospital, one of the 100 Best Heart Hospitals in USA
“I use the verbal first aid skill I learned from you daily in my practice.” Anita Bajpai, MD, Veterans’ Administration Medical Center, Los Angeles
Verbal First Aid [The Worst Is Over…] is required reading for all who wish to work in the field of trauma response. Leo j. Shea III, Ph.D., Clinical Neuropsychologist, New York University-Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine
Reading about Verbal First Aid gave me the courage and the inspiration to be a source of comfort and ease to people who are ill or injured. The authors’ very simple approach is both loving and practical. I recommend it to anyone dealing with a medical emergency. I use this as an ongoing practice in my work, both in the emergency room and the ICU.” Cara de Vries, Respiratory Care Practitioner, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford
It’s finally becoming apparent that what we say during a medical emergency is often as important as the treatment we provide. Alan Mistler, Associate Professor and Program Director, Center for Prehospital Education Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Cincinnati Medical Center
“Thank you very much for your presentation “Utilizing the Language of Hypnosis with Children.” The resident physicians in pediatrics and the child life specialists in attendance were uniformly enthusiastic about the possibilities for improving our care for children that you presented to us. We left your talk eager to try out some of the “magic spells” and techniques you shared with us.” Debra Lotstein, M.D. Resident Physician in Medicine and Pediatrics, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
“Thank you so much for your inservice on “Verbal First Aid…. The staff really enjoyed it and…some of us have already started practicing these techniques on our patients with good results!” Lisa Hasnosi, RN, Department of Psychiatry, NYU Medical Center
Your presentations were a huge success. I have received phone calls, e-mails, and cards from people thanking me for inviting them and telling me how much they benefited from attending the workshops. To me, Verbal First Aid includes a common sense approach to wording things in a way that promotes health and healing. It’s simple, but amazingly it is something that isn’t talked about in health professional trainings. Until your workshop, no one taught us how to speak in a way that makes a difference in a patient’s recovery. I know that these simple and practical changes will make a difference in the care I provide. Chaplain Ginny Bonner, Tucson Heart Hospital, Tucson, AZ