ABSTRACT

The Wisdoms Project arose when we at Bouverie1 reflected together that we were potentially sitting on a huge storehouse of clients’ experiences that could be of interest to others who consult with the agency. Because we see so many families who experience a wide range of relational difficulties that are the effects of injury, abuse, illness and discrimination, we became excited by the idea of creating an archive of clients’ wisdom narratives. Wisdom narratives, we believed, would tell the story of reconnecting to hope and well-being after traumatic and problem-saturated experiences. We were curious to learn what the effects on our clients would be to have access to such a collection. Thus a research project was born (see Ingram and Perlesz 2004). We defined wisdom as ‘understanding that arises out of experience and supports and prepares one for future related experiences through ongoing reflection and learning’. For the purposes of the project, a narrative was understood as a piece of writing that articulates or expresses the author’s thoughts, feelings, beliefs and experiences.