The Fire Extinguisher: A Breakthrough In Relapse Prevention

Brad Haber, LCSW, CAP, Certified in Clinical Hypnosis

The Fire Extinguisher: A Breakthrough In Relapse Prevention

The Theory and Presentation of the Fire Extinguisher Model

To fully understand how the “Fire Extinguisher” model and technique works, it is important to identify the Psychological Theories, and how they are applied within the format of its presentation. This is an integrated and synergistic model that works by using a combination of psychological theories, methods and application. The Model itself is constructed within an Existential theoretical framework emphasizing the identification and validation of the patient’s past and present experiences.

The theories and strategies that are used in the model are the following: Freudian, Psychoeducation, Subconscious Memories, Object Relations, Motivational Interviewing, Reality Therapy, Rational Emotive therapy, Neurolinguistic Programming, Shaping Behavior, and Hypnosis.  The next paragraphs explain the order and application of the technique.

Presentation Format

Step 1: Educate client on the nature of addiction and its primary motivations. Explanation of Addiction from a Freudian perspective (Id, Ego, and Superego)

Step2: Power Factors – Addiction vs Intellect, Intent and Will The power of emotionalized desire magnified by the addicted mind.

Step 3: Object Relations and Attachment

Desire for Pleasure

Desire to Escape Pain (Emotional, Physical, and Psychological)

Step 4: Educate the client on the factors of elements of the technique.

A) Experience

B) Feelings directly connected to painful experience of addiction/SA, Compulsion (physical, emotional, and psychological), and

C) Intelligence

D)  Review and discuss the client’s positive rewarding experiences versus the negative and painful consequences directly related to his/her addiction or compulsion.

Step 5: Pause for the Cause – Avoiding Pain

Recall of Subconscious Memories to identify past and present experiences causally related to Addiction.

In this step, Experiential, Reality Therapy, and Motional Interviewing are utilized.

Step 6: Begin the first stage of the Fire Extinguisher Technique by directing client to Relive, Replay and Re-Experience Subconscious Memories.

Step 7: Prepare the Fire Extinguisher for Use by filling the Fire Extinguisher with Atomic Fire Extinguishing Powder that consists of the client’s past painful experiences and negative consequences related to addiction. (NLP and Hypnotic Suggestion)

Step 8: “PASS – Pull, Aim Squeeze, and Sweep” the Fire Extinguisher Powder directly at fire until the fire is out. This addresses Cravings, Thoughts, and Urges to Use.

Step 9: Apply Rational Emotive Therapy

Comparing Apples to Apples, ask a series of questions included in the Fire Extinguisher Relapse Prevention Method.

After using the techniques of the Fire Extinguisher, the desire to avoid pain becomes greater than the desire for pleasure and relief. When this process is applied, the clear and rational decision to avoid pain becomes a “No Brainer “and the decision to relapse would be recognized as clearly irrational.

This presentation and technique is an emergency relapse prevention tool and is designed to elicit painful memories and emotions. It is important to emphasize to the client that these painful memories are only to be brought up when needed. Advise that ruminating or obsessing on these memories is to be meticulously avoided once technique is completed. Use the Fire Extinguisher procedure whenever needed.

The following NLP slogans and language are frequently used as reinforcement throughout the Fire Extinguisher model

“Use your Fire Extinguisher to Put Out the Fire “

“Don’t get burned again, use your Fire Extinguisher to put out the Fire “

“When the Fire of Desire gets Higher and Higher use your Fire Extinguisher to “Put out the Fire! “

“Fight Fire with Fire”

“Empower your Clients!”

*The next Fire Extinguisher Model training is scheduled for October 27, 2020 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM EST

If you would like to learn how to effectively teach this technique to your clients, I have designed a 3 CEU training workshop that explains and demonstrates dynamics and method of the presentation. For more details please contact me at (954) 261-5901

The Fire Extinguisher Model and all information contained herein is copyrighted by Brad Haber, LCSW, CAP © 2019