Introduction to Verbal First Aid ™

Verbal First Aid ™(VFA) uses words and images to set a course for recovery and resilience. Judith Simon Prager, PhD, has been teaching the protocol of Verbal First Aid™ from 2001. The protocol is the most simple yet the most powerful first action you can take at the scene of an accident, crisis or emergency. The protocol is taught to firefighters, emergency medical personnel, doctors, nurses and police officers around the world.

The right words said in the right way at the right time, when shock, pain and fear are all around, can shift the perception and feelings of the victim to allow healing and circumvent the impulse towards a traumatic memory or PTSD.

Judith Prager, presented a workshop on VFA™ at the Intergenerational Trauma Conference 2021 which so inspired a number of delegates, that they asked for more information about it to be spread to more people on the front line.

This webinar is not just for firefighters, emergency medical personnel, doctors, nurses and police officers, but also parents, counsellors, carers and teachers. Choose the module that suits your needs or listen to them all.

This workshop was recorded for the Intergenerational Trauma Conference in January 2021

Verbal First Aid Protocol

Please watch this overview before continuing on to the individual modules.


Module One

Are you in the NHS, working on the front-line or a First Responder (Fire, Police, Ambulance or similar) who may be talking to and dealing with recently admitted/injured/rescued patients who require your help and skills, or who have experienced mental, physical or sexual abuse? What you say can be absolutely vital.

Module Two

Are you a chaplain or counsellor dealing with and/or talking to someone who has had a recent bereavement or loss? Do you help people with their grief? What can you say to comfort them? How do we communicate compassionately when all we have are words?

Module Three

Are you an educator, teacher or someone who works with children and vulnerable adults?  Do you find yourself explaining diagnoses, listening to their worries and fears, calming them? What you say can help them to feel heard, to re-set and feel safe? When helping children, whether in person or from a distance, your words can make a huge difference to the situation.

Module Four

Are you a parent or carer managing family life, work life and home schooling?  Choosing your words sensitively in a pressured situation can calm emotions, both yours and theirs. Judith’s verbal first aid can give us the tools and techniques to alleviate stress and anxiety.