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Friday On My Mind


Tomorrow morning, the first thing I’ll notice after I’ve woken up is that it’s Friday. Then I will remember that when I was in the shower the previous Friday, I suddenly thought, though I’ve lost the habit of buying a newspaper, I want to walk to my local Co-op to buy a paper, before starting work, and I might develop a habit of doing this every Friday. My daily paper of choice used to be The Guardian, and if there’s one day of the week I’m going to buy a copy now, Friday would be a good choice, as it has the film and music reviews then.


As I was thinking about this, in the shower, I was enjoying the thought of walking to the Co-op, and having the social contact that would follow, first thing in the morning, and making this into a routine, at least once a week. This seemed a good thing to do in particular in the midst of lockdown, with its associated risks of sedentariness and isolation.


And then I remembered the Friday before that, on the ‘Next Steps in Solution-Focused Practice’ course I was running, when I had role played a client and the ten participants had been my 10-headed therapist, asking me questions to help me describe a “preferred future”. I sort of made someone up, someone who was fed up, and who wanted to be feeling better. My therapist was great, helping me to describe what I (the person I was role playing) would be doing tomorrow, in lots of detail, if I were feeling how I’d like to be.


This included going to the local shop to buy a paper, and I (the person I was role playing) was invited to describe the walk there, and then to think about who would notice first that here was someone who was feeling good. It turned out this was the person at the door checking that customers were wearing face masks, and letting the next person in after someone left. This person would notice a smile, behind the mask, and a good morning!


So last Friday I (me) did walk to the shop, and, though there was no queue, and the first person I saw was the person behind the counter, I did give that person a big smile, and said good morning!


Then while walking home, I thought, maybe I hadn’t been fully role playing, and maybe this approach really works!


So tomorrow, after noticing it’s Friday, and remembering last Friday and what happened then, maybe in connection with something that happened the Friday before that, I will have a shower, and then walk to the Co-op, buy a paper, and smile and say good morning to the person on the door, and the person behind the counter.


Three Fridays after that, on 19th March, maybe I’ll get the chance to role play someone else, during the first Solution-Focused Practitioner Group I’m to run with Marc Gardiner of the Zebra Collective. I wonder what that will lead to, if I do. If you’re interested in this group, you can read more about it here.


Fridays are good days for training courses, I think, a good start to the weekend. And I’m routinely now spreading the days of my courses a week apart rather than being on consecutive days. So maybe I’ll run another Introductory course on two consecutive Fridays later in the year, and maybe another Next Steps one too.


Of my last three open courses, I organised two of them because someone wanted to come on a training course of mine, and asked if I had any planned. I didn’t, but felt sort of duty bound to arrange one, so I did.


This reminds me of an old joke about Preston North End. It could be about any football club, and I’m allowed to tell it about Preston because they are my team. Someone phoned up the club one day, and asked, “What time does the match start on Saturday?” The response came, “What time can you come?”


So if you would like to come on a training course with Guy Shennan Associates, just get in touch and ask, “When’s your next course?” I’ll check with you when might fit best with your schedules - but it’s likely to be on one or more Fridays.


Guy Shennan, Thursday evening, 25.02.21


(Thank you, the 10 participants of my February 2021 Next Steps course, for being a great 10-headed solution-focused therapist, and for being a great group of course participants!)

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