The purpose of this work is to

Ultimately, this three-year research study will establish a consumer-informed foundation for a much-needed compassion-based guiding framework that can aid Canadian Human Service (HS) Organizations and service providers in their ability to be responsive to the aspirations and preferences of consumers in ways that strengthen their ability to lead self-directed lives.  This work is possible because of the support of partner organizations and community members.

This research is premised on the belief that hope and self-compassion not only ground HS service delivery provision but also the support-seeking behaviours of HS consumers.  And further to this point, it is the living through of hope and self-compassion in and through authentic collaboration in the course of service delivery that strengthens the capacity of HS consumers to lead self-directed lives.

We believe that without the perspective of others’ lived experiences, we are still within our own possibilities. When we work to collect others’ experiences in and through the course of human service delivery we develop a deeper understanding of the reality of these experiences from those with the experiences rather than from our own horizons of understanding. In this way we become open to things that were seemingly invisible, blurred, or impossible to see, purely because they were not our realities. Now, our possibilities can be grounded in how they are lived through. Now, we can work from a truly consumer-informed understanding as opposed to continuously recreating our own selves. In short, together we can work to deeply understand how human service consumers and practitioners experience hope, self-compassion and authentic collaboration in and through the course of service delivery and the role that these features of compassion-based services play on the ability of individuals to lead self-directed lives.

This three-year project is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through their College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCCSIF)

Ethics content with REB contact information

The Experiences of hope, self-compassion and authentic collaboration research project has been approved by the Humber Research Ethics Board. Participants can verify the ethical approval of this program of research or raise any concerns by contacting the Humber Research Ethics Board (Dr. Lydia Boyko, REB Chair, 416-675-6622 ext. 79322, or

Participation is completely voluntary, and participants can withdraw from participation at any time as they are completing the online forms. Once the online forms have been submitted, however, participation cannot be revoked. Pulling already submitted data is difficult because of the lack of personally identifying information. Completing the online forms affirms that each participant gives their informed consent to participate in the research project.