Verbal First Aid

Verbal First Aid: Help Your Kids Heal From Fear and Pain—And Come Out Strong

by Judith Simon Prager, PhD and Judith Acosta, LISW

Verbal First Aid is a protocol for a language of healing that helps set a trajectory for recovery when people are in fear, pain or crisis. At such times, they slip into fight/flight/or freeze and their autonomic nervous system, that regulates bleeding, breathing, heart and pulse rate, and perception of pain, is open to suggestions. Every word said to them can harm or heal.
There are words and ways to say them that can mean the difference between panic and calm, pain and comfort, even life and death.

For speaking to children, Verbal First Aid can help turn a scare into a comfort, a hurt into a healing and a potential trauma into a memory of courage.

More information about Verbal First Aid: Help Your Kids Heal

What to say to your children to get them through the bumps, bruises, and crises of childhood.

Falling off a bike, having a bad dream, getting stitches…sometimes a kiss isn’t enough to make it all better. But what you say to your child in those first moments of pain or fear could make all the difference.

Using techniques the authors have taught to doctors, nurses, and first responders, Verbal First Aid™ explains how words can be used to promote healing from burns, bruises, nightmares, asthma attacks, and more. It provides scripts and tips on how to short-circuit traumatic memories, sometimes just by speaking a sentence or two.

This revolutionary book gives parents the responses they need to immediately stabilize their children’s emotions. And these methods will build a foundation of confidence and inner strength that will help kids heal at the deepest level, and weather whatever hardships and difficulties they encounter throughout life.

Verbal First Aid is far more than a parenting guide. Verbal First Aid is a profound prescription toward nurturing our children and evolving civilization to the healthiest levels possible!”
—Bruce H. Lipton, PhD, Cell biologist and bestselling author of The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles and Spontaneous Evolution

“You can use Verbal First Aid everywhere: in the streets, in schools, at home. It is therapy of the people. It can help to prevent trauma and it can help children to heal themselves however and wherever they may be.”
—Helena Guo, MD, Chief Clinical Officer of PsychCN, the largest psychology institute in China and CCO of the “May 15 Soul Care Program for Earthquake Victims”, winner: “The Most Influential Charity Project of 2008” in China

“Verbal First Aid is not merely a communication tool~~it is a developmentally appropriate, child-friendly and compassionate approach to children. It fosters supportive relationships between parents and children. When used by parents, it empowers children to master their fears around illness and injury, develop resilience to stress, and participate actively in their own healing. It is an overwhelmingly positive approach that can be invaluable to parents of children with chronic illness, but can also serve healthy children and their families.
—Ruby Roy, MD, Chronic Disease Pediatrician at the University of Chicago, IL

“As an Osteopath and a parent, I find the Verbal First Aid Techniques to be invaluable to teach both adults and children how to control and reduce their pain. They are a highly effective non-pharmaceutical way of relieving discomfort and calming an often stressful situation.”
—Karen Farrant, Bsc (hons), D.O., London, United Kingdom

“As parents, we would like to create a perfect world for our children filled with good health, beauty, peace and lots of fun! But, life happens and our perfect world is shattered. What then? How we cope determines if an event is perceived as a part of life or a catastrophe. This book is a must for parents and health care workers. It helps to guide their responses to the events in life that are unavoidable. Through the proven techniques of Verbal First Aid and positive reinforcement, a seemingly tragic event can be turned into an experience that is understood and accepted… thus leading to healing in a real and immediate way.”
—Deborah McCurdy, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA

“Who knows the possibilities for health and well being, now, and in the future when we use these communication tools to speak to our children!”
—Susan Clark, MD, Medical Director of Endocrinology at Children’s Hospital of Orange County

Verbal First Aid is a book that will change the lives of children for the better. It might even save lives. As beautifully written as it is practical, it is, in my opinion, an indispensable book for parents and for all those involved in child care.”
—Charles Montagu, member of the Board of the British Council for Complimentary Therapy and the first hypnotherapist in the United Kingdom to be funded by the National Health Service. He is also co-founder of The Health Partnership, a medical centre in London where doctors and holistic practitioners work adjunctively

Owie-Cadabra’s Verbal First Aid for Kids

Owie-Cadabra’s Verbal First Aid for Kids: A somewhat magical way to help heal yourself and your friends

by Judith Simon Prager PhD; illustrations by David Hudnut

This is a book for kids and for their parents to share with them. Beautifully illustrated, it is rich with examples of ways that children can talk to themselves and their friends when hurt and afraid to start the healing.

More information about Owie-Cadabra’s Verbal First Aid For Kids

Owie-Cadabra’s Verbal First Aid will change the way children speak to themselves and their friends about crises big and small and help them know they have the ability to support their own healing.“
—Kathleen Archibald Simon, RN, HN_BC, Board Member of Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

“When children learn this language of healing for themselves there is the opportunity for a generation to grow up more emotionally and physically healthy than occurs now. And who knows how much this might change our world!”
—Susan J. Clark, MD, Director of Endocrinology, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, CA

“If you have a child in your life, run out and buy this book! It’s as necessary in every home as a box of Band-Aids.”
—Award-winning children’s book author April Halprin Wayland

The Worst Is Over (Revised)

The Worst Is Over: What To Say When Every Moment Counts (Revised Edition)

by Judith Acosta, LISW, and Judith Simon Prager, PhD

More information about The Worst Is Over

Your child has a bike riding accident. A friend undergoes surgery. Your father has a chronic pain condition. One day, maybe sooner, maybe later, someone close to you will experience a medical emergency. Health issues escape no one. Knowing CPR and other “techniques” is great – but not enough. What do you say when you’ve done all you can?

The Worst Is Over is Verbal First Aid to calm, relieve pain, promote healing, and save lives. It will give you the words to say to let the healing begin. We all know that the words we chose can raise our blood pressure, make us smile, or bring tears to our eyes. It only makes sense that the power of works can also positively affect a person’s heart rate, temperature, breathing, cardiovascular, limbic, endocrine, circulatory and respiratory systems during an emergency situation.

This groundbreaking work, substantiated by medical science, and already being used by emergency care professionals across the country, will become a standard in every home. Endorsed by professionals across the country, it is already in demand by the media.

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, PhD, Editor, International Journal of Emergency Mental Health

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 and Mother-Daughter Wisdom

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, Reinventing Medicine, Healing Beyond the Body and The Power of Premonitions

“[The Worst Is Over] is required reading for all who wish to work in the field of trauma response.”
—Leo J. Shea III, PhD Clinical Neuropsychologist, New York University

The Worst Is Over is a book that should be read by every police officer in the country.”
—Tom Scotto, President, National Association of Police Organizations at their 2002 Conference

“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

“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 Practioner, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford

“After reading the book, The Worst Is Over, I became a believer in Verbal First Aid. I run the first aid training unit for our department and have incorporated it into our program. As Police Officers, we talk to people in a variety of situations, and unfortunately some of these conversations are not pleasant ones. Verbal First Aid is a valuable “tool” we can use with the public that we serve. The feedback thus far from the field has been great.”
—F/Lt Mike Harvitt, Michigan State Police

Journey to Alternity

Journey to Alternity: Transformational Healing Through Stories and Metaphors

by Judith Simon Prager, PhD

More information about Journey to Alternity

What if you could change your life, your health, your world in the wink of an eye? Like an optical illusion, a picture hidden in a picture that suddenly reveals itself with a change of focus, so alternate realities — “alternities” — await your discovery. Through true and astounding stories of healing, exercises to experience the mysteries for yourself, and detailed explanations of the quantum science behind them, you will discover how it is possible to change your health and your world with your imagination.

This book uses the metaphor of metaphor to explode the prison of limits that has characterized three-dimensional life. It uses the illusion of allusion to melt hard forms and make them malleable. It offers you Alternity — the domain of endless possibilities — and invites you to move in.

“What sets this book apart is the quality and concise style of writing, combined with the author’s knowledge and experience with alternative healing modalities…Alternity is the magical world in which one trusts intuition, one follows one’s heart, and taking intuitive leaps, one is met by the miraculous, though not always in the way one might picture. For example, there are stories such as Beth and the Angel which recounts one woman’s spontaneous remission from cancer, contrasted with other stories in which lives were transformed as a result of openness to change.

‘Interchapters,’ labeled as such in case one wants to skip them, provide simplified scientific explanations for the theories, which underlie these unusual states. I enjoyed reading her pragmatic explanations of such concepts as ‘String Theory,’ or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

This heart-centered book includes exercises to expand awareness into the consciousness of boundless possibility where what one believes can change reality, and with desire, one can change what one believes.”
—Reviewed by Lorrie Kazan for The Whole Life Times

What the Dolphin Said

What the Dolphin Said

by Judith Simon Prager

More information about What the Dolphin Said

A dolphin is assigned the “impossible” mission of waking humans to their full potential before it’s too late. But he can’t do it alone. He is told he will receive the help of a woman who has no idea of her role in this vital experiment.

She is a therapist trying to discover new ways to communicate with her young patients. She knows she has a calling but can’t quite hear it.

Each needs to find a separate path to the other. If they can meet and collaborate beyond the obstacles of land and sea—joining their separate threads of intensity, science, visions, and open hearts—they may be able to dissolve barriers and bring to a waiting, hurting world this life-affirming message of what we might become.

“What the Dolphin Said is an inspiring reminder that consciousness, empathy and compassion are not the sole possession of humans. Judith Simon Prager is a gifted writer with a vital message served up in a captivating story. Highly recommended.”
~ Larry Dossey, MD, and author of ONE MIND: How Our Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters

“The story is heart-aching and heart-making, a genuine summons…. It has surely never been so intensely needed as now.”
~ Peter Sacks, Painter

CDs and MP3s

Guided Imagery for Surgery

Guided Imagery for Surgery

by Judith Simon Prager, PhD

Created in a pilot study with the Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

These CDs are meant to be used before, during, and after surgery to enlist your mind and body’s innate wisdom for healing.

More information about Guided Imagery for Surgery

They have been used before, during, and immediately after operations with extremely positive patient and physician reaction.

It has been created to evoke and enhance the body’s own inner healing mechanisms, so that patients’ experience of recovery is improved. It addresses the autonomic nervous system, helping the body and mind to cope with surgical intervention and reminding the body of its “habit” of healing.

These CDs use metaphors and guided imagery as well as direct suggestions so that the patient enters the surgery with a feeling of calm, generating health-producing chemicals. Throughout the operation the patient is reminded to experience every touch as a loving, healing touch. A strong and positive vision of the future, of being more comfortable and capable, helps move the patient toward recovery in powerful ways.

“When we compared patients [in this pilot study] to routine patients, we found that there was nearly 100% patient satisfaction, plus a dramatic reduction in pain medicine and sleeping pills requested.”
—Gregory P. Fontana, M.D., Director of Integrative Therapies for Cardiac Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

(In addition to the pain relief, anecdotally nurses reported that patients listening to this series seemed to recover more quickly and have fewer side-effects from the anesthesia.)

“This summer I had back surgery, my second and hopefully last. I had two discs taken out in 1986 from a college football injury and the recovery was painful and long. Now, many years later, I had to have another disc taken out. However, this time I had your CDs. The nurses played them for me before, during, and after my surgery as I was under general anesthetic. The nurses were very interested in the CDs as they had not heard of them before. They were amazed at my recovery and I had three of them comment to me that they had not seen anybody get up and walk and do as well as I did that soon. This prompted them to write down the website for more information. Thanks to the CDs, I’m walking easily, proof that they really do make a difference.”
—F/Lt. Mike Harvitt, Post Commander, Michigan State Police

Guided Imagery for Chemotherapy

Guided Imagery for Chemotherapy

by Judith Simon Prager, PhD

More information about Guided Imagery for Chemotherapy

When I was asked to do a CD for Chemotherapy, I thought about the times I’d sat with clients during their treatments. Sometimes I wound up putting the whole room into trance, to the confusion of the attending nurses!

But I thought mostly about why guided imagery works and the many ways my clients pictured their healing. And I decided to make this as useful as possible for people undergoing both chemo and radiation.

This disc contains the following sections:

  • *An overview—how to use this CD
  • *How and Why Guided Imagery Works
  • *Stories for Healing
  • *Guided Imagery for Chemotherapy and
  • *A special added section: The Secret of Relaxation—beneficial for everyone

Listen to a short sample of part of the Relaxation segment

One woman in Orange County, CA, with a virulent form of leukemia, listened to this CD and felt herself expand beyond her body during the relaxation track. She said, “I could feel the minute I went into remission.” After her course of chemotherapy was finished, she was tested and found to have no traces of the leukemia. She said, “My doctors are stunned and pleased. I am overjoyed and grateful. I have discovered how powerful mind/body work is and how empowered I feel participating in my own healing.”

Another woman in England who was “getting her affairs in order” and preparing to die, found that she wanted to live after listening to this CD series and undergoing chemotherapy, and she is now in remission.

“In an ideal world, Guided Imagery for Chemotherapy would be provided to every man, woman and child undergoing chemotherapy. It does more than lift the spirits. In boosting the belief system, it also enhances the immune system. It is, in my view, a useful adjunct to any form or system used in healing critical illness. I wholeheartedly recommend it as a ‘must have’ for health professionals, those with cancer or who those who know of someone they care about who does.”
—Charles Montagu, Hypnotherapist and co-founder of The Health Partnership in London, England

Creating Calm

Creating Calm: Five Different Approaches to Stress Relief, Balance, and Rejuvenation

by Judith Simon Prager, PhD

More information about Creating Calm

“Judith, your work is more than life-changing; it’s life saving.”
—Sandy Johnson, author, The Book of Tibetan Elders, and the Brazilian Healer with the Kitchen Knife: and Other Stories of Mystics, Shamans, and Miracle Makers and The Thirteenth Moon

“I highly recommend Judith Prager’s glorious CDs. Each recording is beautifully written and spoken. Judith opens doorways that can lead to profound self-healing.”
—Charles Montegu, Founder and Managing Director of The Health Partnership, London, England

The Magical Purple Healing Fairy

The Magical Purple Healing Fairy

by Judith Simon Prager, PhD

Created by the developer of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Guided Imagery for Surgery CD, this program is designed for Chemo for girls 4-8.

Originally developed at the request of health professionals in London and provided to a young patient undergoing chemo at the prestigious Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Custom Therapeutic MP3s
I’m now offering custom-made, therapeutic MP3s for boys and girls ages 4 to 8 individually tailored to the physical or emotional situations that guided imagery may help alleviate.

La Fee Violette, the Purple Fairy in French (free)

youtube logo

More information about The Magical Purple Healing Fairy

Hi Judith,
This story is just absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much. This email is short because she wants to listen to it again (and again) on my phone. I wish I could show you her face as she was listening. Her eyes were so bright, her smile so big, and her mouth was open in pure wonder. Thank you so much. This will help her immensely.
Thank you,

Another mother, this time in London, wrote:
“The nurses at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London were amazed by [my daughter’s] boundless energy and her positive outlook throughout receiving her chemo; she kept all her hair and even put on weight! She learned to rollerblade and ride a bicycle throughout this time and attended school every day she could (except for days she had appointments at the hospital), all of this was made possible by her calm and relaxed attitude to her treatment…. She’s 5 years old and has had an MRI scan, a CT scan and is having all her Proton radiotherapy (lying still for 30 minutes) WITHOUT a general anesthetic. This would not have been possible without the help you’ve given her and for that I’m eternally grateful…. I truly believe that the Purple Healing Fairy stayed with her throughout everything and kept her strong.”
—K.S. London, England

“The wonderful Magic Purple Healing Fairy in this CD takes children out of the world of medicine, of physical pain and escalating stress, and into a place of relaxation and joy. In the cool mist of this magical place, children can regain their peace and find the tools to help themselves cope and heal.”
—Deborah McCurdy, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, California

“I enthusiastically support this CD for children who are facing the difficult experience of cancer chemotherapy. Judith’s voice is magical as she uses techniques she developed in her Verbal First Aid books to allow children to connect to their imagination and visualize their chemotherapy as a positive process. This CD gives children the tools to participate in their treatment and helps them build resilience. It has a holistic approach that complements the medical treatments and allows the children to transform their experience by becoming active participants in their own healing. Judith’s visualization CD for children is empowering, inspiring and healing.”
—Ruby Roy, MD, Pediatrician, La Rabida Children’s Hospital, Illinois

Bonding With the Baby Within

Bonding With the Baby Within

by Judith Simon Prager, PhD

10 Track CD with special healing music track

A prenatal program to provide a healthy emotional template for your baby’s life

More information about Bonding With the Baby Within

Bonding With the Baby Within is a program of talks and guided-imagery sessions. In this program, pregnant mothers will learn how to connect with the natural wisdom of their bodies and minds. And they will learn how to help their soon-to-be born infants grow into emotionally, as well as physically, healthy babies.

“Babies read their mothers’ unconscious minds” according to Bernardine Celoni, MD, Chief of Pediatrics at Memorial Hospital in Arcadia. They are equipped prenatally to sense their parents’ love and their concerns. And they learn through their environment—the “soup” of their mothers’ amniotic fluid—and their mothers’ emotions.

Frederick Wirth, MD, author of Prenatal Parenting, says “Everything you think, feel and do while pregnant has a profound impact on your child both before and after birth. You are a brain shaper, a life shaper. Your role as a loving, powerful parent begins long before your baby’s first cry or smile.”

In a series of sessions, you’ll learn about or experience:

  • *Bonding Mother and Baby
  • *Linking Mother to Motherhood
  • *Linking Baby to Family
  • *Deflecting Negative Issues
  • *Breathing the Breath of Love
  • *Preparing Baby and Mother for Birth
  • *And much more, including music and the importance of music and play to your unborn baby. (A special track of soothing music for mother and baby is included.)

As a therapist who trained Pediatric Interns at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Verbal First Aid, as a colleague of the Director of Pediatrics at Memorial Hospital and a consultant to Children’s Hospital of Orange County, and as a featured speaker at the Conference of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPPAH) in 2005, 2007, 2009, I have grown in my respect for this field and see its value in helping us to develop the emotional template that sets the tone for the baby’s life.

Babies are the future. Let us raise them well and consciously from the start, and all the world will benefit from their gift of well being.

“Traditionally, the prenatal time is a time of great contemplation. It’s like being on the dark side of the moon, where a woman connects with herself, her femininity, and the baby within.

“You are in the process of composing a life, just as you compose a picture or a sonnet or a melody. This CD will help you to mother your child, mother yourself, and give a more contemplative air to this important time in both of your lives. And it will help prepare your baby for the chaos of the world shortly to be born into.

“When you listen to these guided imagery tracks, your baby will be listening, too. As you imagine the beautiful prospect of bonding, as you breathe the Breath of Love, as you protect your child from your worry, your baby can come into this world ready, secure, and feeling loved.”
—Bernadine Celoni, MD, FAAP, Former Chief of Pediatrics, Methodist Hospital, Arcadia, CA, Board Certified Pediatrician