Re-authoring Teaching is an international learning community where people from different countries and cultures can pursue their studies in narrative practice, and reflect on developments in their own work. Our members come from all over the world, and speak many languages. We are committed to creating space to share and disseminate knowledge and practices, while simultaneously honoring the unique features of local culture and language.
Honoring local context and meanings
Translation poses interesting challenges where metaphors can have different local meanings, analogous to the process of acculturation that marcela polenco experienced in the “re-authoring of narrative therapy” into her Colombian Spanish. Having first learned narrative therapy in English, Marcela ironically found she was unable to practice in her Spanish mother tongue; she then embarked on a process of self-apprenticeship to learn narrative therapy in Spanish, drawing from her current English knowledge. Marcela proposes “a therapy of solidarity” as her Latin American version of narrative therapy aspires that honors local linguistic contexts and resists the longstanding cultural and intellectual colonization of English as a “lingua franca.” (see the marcela polenco video, “Colouring Narrative Therapy’s Solidarity”, Friday Afternoons at Dulwich).
Charlotte Crettenand (Trame Narrative) — a psychologist in Switzerland — is one of our “go-to people” for French-English translation. Charlotte has discovered unique challenges when attempting to translate particular words from English to French. For example, when translating the concept of neighborly ways of being, she reported, “In English, it’s so easy to “invent” new words. It’s like a living language. In contrast, French has rules that are difficult to zigzag through.” Charlotte also noticed aspects that seem to go without saying for French-speakers from a European culture, yet were new to Americans. A reference to Eric-Emmanuel Schmidt or the Algerian War required clarification in order to be understood by a person from another culture; the “basic” translation isn’t enough. “I’m fascinated to get aware, once again, of the deep cultural imprint of language, words, expressions, turns of phrase that we use daily” Charlotte stated. As a result, Charlotte suggests footnotes for French-historical references. This has led to consulting with French-speakers from other countries before coming up with a preferred version.
Re-Creating Narrative Therapy Elsewhere
Jehanzeb Baldiwala, David Epston, André Grégoire, Sumie Ishikawa and marcela polanco talk together with the help of video conferencing about their experiences re-creating narrative therapy in different contexts. Filmed at Narrative Educators Camp, Charlotte, Vermont, June 2017. (with English subtitles)
Narrative Therapy India
The Ummeed Mental Health Team (Mumbai) describes some of their experiences as they apply Narrative Therapy to their work in India with children with disabilities and their families. This conversation took place at Narrative Camp 2016 -Thompson’s Point, Charlotte, Vermont, USA.
Members of the Ummeed Mental Health Team describe experiences translating narrative therapy in India.