How Words Can Change the Outcome of a Crisis Situation with Judith Simon Prager, Ph.D.

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Dr. Prager’s book, The Worst is Over, is hailed as the ‘Bible’ for crisis communication. This deep dialogue explores the power of Verbal First Aidtm in helping someone who is in fear, shock, stress, or trauma. She illustrates, with many stories, how particular words and phrases and tone of voice can be extremely effective in assisting the healing process and even avoiding PTSD. She cautions us to not negate the concerns of the person in distress or try to fix them. Rather, she says it is important to say words such as, “I hear you,” followed by “I’m right here.” Or, “You are not alone.” Or, “Help is on the way.” This dialogue also delves into caring for ourselves and others as we shelter in place during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Humans are naturally hard-wired to want to be of help to others. Her many stories and practical examples of words that heal will give you the ability to be more effective in being of help to others in need. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Judith Prager, Ph.D., CHt, is a clinical hypnotherapist with a PHD in psychology and a practices in the Los Angeles area. As a consultant to Cedars-Sinai Medical center, she developed a “Guided Imagery for Surgery” series of pre-intra-and post-operative and ICU creative imagery CDs that has been used with significant results in a pilot program in the Cardio-thoracic Surgery Unit. She’s trained physicians, nurses, and first responders across the U.S. in hypnotic language for pain and stress relief in emergencies and interactions with children. She presents keynotes and talks at conferences and medical centers.

 Judith Simon Prager is the author of: 

  • Journey to Alternity: Transformational Healing through Stories and Metaphors (iUniverse 2000)
  • What the Dolphin Said (Self published 2017)
  • The Worst Is Over: Verbal First Aid too Calm, Relieve Pain, Promote Healing and Save Lives (revised edition) (Judith Acosta) (Self Published 2014)

To learn more about the work of Judith Prager go to

 Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • Why words matter when you are talking to someone who is in fear, shock, stress, or trauma
  • What is Verbal First Aidtm
  • Why our imagination is just as powerful as our physical being
  • What is Prager’s advice in sheltering in place
  • What are some ways to calm ourselves through energy medicine like tapping
  • Why punishing a child may not be as effective as listening to them and using Verbal First Aidtm
  • Prager’s work in China after a devastating earthquake when 80,000 people died
  • How words can be more powerfully healing than a pill
  • What Gabrielle Giffords’ assistant did after she was shot in the head
  • What is an example of how Verbal First Aidtm works
  • What is an alternative to the word “don’t”
  • How words get embedded when someone is in an altered state such as in crisis
  • What were the healing words given to Brenda Peterson when she was in isolation with pneumonia
  • What were the healing words given to Stephen King when he was hit by a van
  • What is Prager’s work with the healing powers of dolphins

 Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 4/3/2020   Program Number: 3700

Music Playlist

From Album: Maybe… 
Artist: Andrew Tomilin and Andy Hardwake, feat. Derek Sherinian

Opening Essay: Part 1 Maybe…
Music Break 1: Part 2 Maybe…
Music Break 2: Part 3 Maybe… 
Music Break 3: Part 4 Maybe…