I arrived in Bangor as a mature student in 1995. Bangor Psychology was my first choice, but I had reservations about settling in North Wales because I was a city boy after all. Those doubts were quickly dispelled and in 1998 I graduated with First-Class Honours having completed a final-year research project evaluating outcomes of treatment for alcohol dependence. I was then invited to remain in the School of Psychology to study for a Doctorate in the field of addictive behaviours.
Currently, I organise the first-year Stress and Distress in Health and Mental Health module, contribute to first-year small-group teaching, organise seminars in the third-year course the Psychology of Addictive Behaviours, supervise final-year projects in addictive behaviours, supervise MA Psychology dissertations, and organise a masters module, Communicating Research in Psychology. Teaching has proved to be as rewarding a job of work as researching.
Motivation and addictive behaviours is my game. My doctoral project evaluated two brief interventions designed to reduce binge drinking among students. I graduated in 2002. It was a great experience, hard work but immensely rewarding. I worked then as Research Officer on a two and a half year project entitled “Determinants of Alcohol Abusers’ Success in Changing.” The study investigated what factors determine whether excessive drinkers actually do change. Getting to know a wide range of people by interviewing them three times during the course of the project was constantly interesting and rewarding work. I then combined teaching with Research Officer duties on a project entitled, “Relative and Combined Effects of Attentional Training and Motivational Restructuring on Reducing Excessive Drinking,” which lasted 3 years and once this project ended I switched to teaching full-time.
In closing, I have to say that I am extremely fortunate to be doing a job that I enjoy so much. I have been a member of the Wheldon teaching team since its inception, and both the work that I do and the people I work alongside have made my life an absolute joy.