Nick Adams's blog

Under age drinking

Under age drinking has increased in the last 10 years and many organisations and politicians are developing new ways to tackle the ever-increasing problem.

Some of the ideas that have been discussed are:
raising the drinking age to 21,
banning adverts for alcohol,
allowing 16 year olds to go into the pub to drink,
fining parents whose children are caught drinking,
banning so called Alco pops
fining the young people themselves if they are caught drinking

but will any of them ever work?

It appears that many of the suggestions people have with regard to under age drinking or binge drinking revolve around banning or chastising people. Therefore tackling the end product, but not necessarily tackling the source or reason. One of the difficulties with this is that it may only make a problem go under ground (it still exists but is less visually obvious).

This way young people may still continue to drink but hide away when they are doing it. Police may then have more difficulty apprehending people as they are less obvious. This will not necessarily take the problem away from our streets. As these people will still be drunk on their walk home and may still cause the trouble that they do already.

Part of drinking under age is the fact that it is new, exciting and rebellious and many young people give in to peer pressure to join in underage drinking. If we bring in laws to try reduce it happening it will no doubt become even more enticing.

To try reduce this problem we should be looking to understand in more depth the difference between our culture in the UK and that of European countries that don’t have this problem.

If we look at people in Europe they are introduced to alcohol at a younger age. It is presented to them in the context of sitting round the table with the family, enjoying a family meal. The emphasis from the adults is to enjoy their drink and not drink to be drunk. It is about an experience that is wrapped up with family, socialising, telling stories, and eating food over a period of time and not dashing away from the dinner table.

We may not be able to instil all these qualities within our culture into today’s society as it has moved and developed, but that does not mean we cannot take the basic essence of what is happening within these cultures.

It is about changing people’s attitudes to alcohol, not so much through education when children are young, though this is helpful, but more through discussing and understanding. It is not enough to tell people the dangers and try scare them away from alcohol as this only works with those people that were already likely to be scared. It is more about understanding and appreciating the taste, understanding socializing and encouraging socializing. Helping people to acknowledge what fun they can have without the need for excess. How confidence and fun does not come from alcohol but from how you choose to think, feel and behave.

We also need to challenge young peoples beliefs, this could be carried out in schools or clubs. We can do this by discussing words that may be synonymous with under age drinking. For example words like “cool”, young people may belief they look cool as a result of drinking and getting very drunk. The question is how cool do you look when you are sick, can’t walk straight, feel ill, your head is spinning, you can’t think straight or even articulate properly. Does the alcohol make you belong to the group or did you already belong to the group before the alcohol. “What is belonging, and does alcohol make you belong?”.

By challenging these thoughts and beliefs we can help reduce under age drinking, by changing the way young people view alcohol and getting drunk.

I believe that we will do more to reduce this problem, not by chastising or bringing in laws but through developing respect, understanding and challenging beliefs. We need to help young people to have respect for each other, themselves and other people. Again we develop this through taking the time to understand them and in turn helping them to understand alcohol in a different way.

Young people can still have fun, be rebellious and enjoy themselves but without excessive alcohol consumption, and it is the older generations job to show them how.

Stop smoking help

National stop smoking day

The 14th March 2007 is national stop smoking day and this year it’s a big one as later this year England, Wales and Northern Ireland join Scotland and Ireland in banning smoking in public spaces. So how do we stop and what help is there out there for smokers

Many people have tried to stop at some time or other. Then something happened at work or at home significant enough to interrupt your pattern (but was it really significant enough or did you make it significant). Gradually, you get back on track determined not to be thrown again, but the momentum is slower this time and your willpower, although there, is different. You try to prioritise but it becomes increasingly difficult as old habits and thoughts of the past creep in. Finally a few months down the line you give in telling yourself “something got in the way”; “I’m not strong enough”; “I need help”; “I’ll try again next year”.

For those of you that are smokers this is the one that you having been putting off for some time now, always with an excuse as to why you shouldn’t stop. “I’ve got several party’s coming up and I need those cigarettes to help me socialise”, “I’ve got a lot on at work and these cigs are the only thing that calms me down”. These words will no doubt ring a bell for many of you but now is the time you can stop smoking and start afresh.

If your resolution is to breathe clean air, then maybe I can offer a few suggestions that might help you on your chosen path.

Write down two lists, the first list is all the reasons you want to give up smoking: health, money, fitness etc. For each item you write down also write why this reason is important to you, this will help to increase your motivation as you understand why you have written this reason.

On the second list write down all the things you like about smoking and the reasons why you would like to carry on smoking. Once you have this list, go through each item and come up with two reasons as to why you can cope without it and why this item is unhelpful for you in your quest to give up smoking.

Additionally every time the thought of a cigarette comes into your mind say the word “STOP” to that thought and then remind yourself of the reasons you decided to stop that are detailed in the lists above. This will help to bring you back on track and keep you motivation strong.

When you have your last cigarette make sure there are no packets in the house, be pleased with yourself and remind yourself once again of all the reasons why you are giving up. Don’t think of that last cigarette as saying goodbye to an old friend, if you do you are telling yourself that you are going to miss it. Instead think of it as moving on. Look at that list of things you want to achieve, think of your own life when you were growing up - you managed to move on from riding a bike with stabilisers to one without; you moved from crawling to walking as a baby; and you left school to go into the world of work. At the time each of these steps would have seemed impossible, but each time you moved on and achieved them. They are all natural steps; you coped without your friends from school when you went into work, not seeing them as much and making new friends. Your life is frequently changing and each time it does you prove you are able to move on.

Even when you were smoking you still had to deal with stress, upset, anger and any other emotion. The cigarette did not deal with them for you - it is an inanimate object, it cannot possibly deal with emotions. The only way the cigarette helped is in the action of breathing. When you breathe out that stale air from the cigarette you are mimicking the same action of breathing out naturally, except you are taking a longer breath. Science has shown us that by taking deep breaths and through the action of breathing out we can reduce our own anxiety and take control of our feelings. So there is no reason why you can’t go outside for a couple of minutes when you need to and just take some long deep breaths and enjoy them as you are breathing clean air not stale polluted air.

Remember smokers continue to smoke to end the empty feeling left by the last cigarette - this is a drug addiction. They are feeding the demon inside them. You eat food because it tastes good and you need it to live. Smoking doesn’t taste good and it kills you, you do not need it to live. Eating food doesn’t make you hungry, whereas smoking leaves you with pangs as the nicotine leaves your body. Smokers have an empty restless feeling.

Failing any of these suggestions working for you, it may be that you need additional help or support to quit. As a psychologist I have helped a lot of people give up smoking and have spoken to smoking cessation advisors about how I help people.

There are several options open to you:

Find you nearest NHS stop smoking clinic
Allen Carr’s easy way to stop smoking (In my opinion the only good book on stopping smoking)
Hypnotherapy – look for someone who belongs to a recognised organisation such as BSCH, or NCH
Thought Field Therapy -

Good luck with your efforts to stop smoking, if you wish to find out how I can help you stop smoking then please follow the link below.


Nick Adams MSc, BA, D.Hyp, TFTdx


What is a meeting?

Act of coming together, encountering or joining; assembly, esp for specified purpose; person assembled.
Source The Penguin Concise English Dictionary

Meetings are created for all kinds of purposes, but whatever the purpose meetings can go wrong.

There are a huge number of factors to consider when attending meetings, what I would like to focus on here are the different personality types that may be involved in a meeting and the effects they may have on the meeting.

This information is not meant to give you answers it is designed to get you to think about the impact you or your colleagues may have on a meeting.

I design and deliver courses on such topics for many different types of business to help them overcome possible stumbling blocks.

Let us first begin by having a look at some of the players in a meetings, these are by no means all of the different types of players or exact descriptions, they have been mentioned to help you identify some that you may have come across within your professional or personal life.

The Speaker
The person who always has something to say and may talk endlessly; partly to give information but possibly because they like the sound of their own voice. They have to finish what they are saying and may interrupt others to get their point across.

The Listener
Who will sit and take on board what each person is saying, absorbing information. They may speak if they feel they have something to contribute. Although they are quiet, they are learning, listening, watching and possibly analysing all the time.

The arguer
They often walk into the meeting ready for an argument, ready to disagree with other points of view, they may already have identified who they are going to disagree with. They may not listen with an open ear, instead they may only hear want they want to hear, the information being filtered through their feelings.

The passionate campaigner
Their strong emotions lead their campaign. They want people to understand and take note of what they are saying, they want people to join them listen and feel motivated by them. They have a message and they will try to get it across.

The mediator
This person wants to find a common ground, they do not necessarily take sides, what is more important to them is having peace and calm with everyone getting on. They feel if people can understand each other then they can all find a way forward together.

The Quiet person
They sit there meeting after meeting never saying a word. They have a voice and an opinion but they feel know one would listen, know one would care and so they stay quiet, in the background actually not wanting to be noticed.

The Worrier
Whatever is said, by whoever or in whatever way they are worried about it, how it will affect them, their family or their colleagues. This person does not necessarily hear all that is said. Once again words are filtered through their own fears and anxiety.

The average Joe
They sit and listen, contribute when need to and when they want to, they have passions interests and disinterests, but over all they want to be part of the meeting but also want to get on with it and get out there and do something.

The Stirrer
These people are good at pushing other people’s buttons, at creating conflict. Stirrers differ from arguers – they are not necessarily negative people, but enjoy provoking others. This can be positive if they are raising issues that aren’t being considered, but it is more often done for a negative effect.

The clock watcher
They don’t want to be there; the moment they walk in they are sighing and checking their watch. They may fidget and fiddle wondering when this meeting is going to end and they can get back to their own life and what they want to do.

All of the above are just some of the types of people that appear in meetings you may recognise one or more of them in people you know or even in yourself. You may even notice that some people fit into several categories in different meetings at different times of the day, however whatever you notice or think these people do exist and all have an impact upon a meeting.

When holding a meeting understanding these different types of player can help you begin to communicate more affectively.

At Psych Therapy Practice (PTP) we specialise in communication and how it impacts on people, their stress levels and themselves personally. All this knowledge has been developed through working with and helping individuals and studying communication as a psychologist.

When helping people to develop more proactive meetings we not only have a course that we teach from, but go into companies to understand the nature of that company and how it communicates in meetings and outside of meetings, and how one affects the other. We then teach and stimulate people to develop more effective meetings that save company time, expenditure and motivate and develop people’s passions.

Our aim is to look at the nuances of meetings and communication to help you drive your business forward.

For more information about Psych Therapy Practice and the courses that it runs please visit


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