Reach Out

Tina Lackner


This research project excites me on multiple levels. To know that hope, self-compassion and authentic collaboration are seen as valuable areas of research gives me hope for our future. Not only to focus on these areas of research but to obtain an understanding of them from a personal narrative and lived experience perspective is profound. I am eager to enter the unknowing, letting the stories unfold and guiding a deeper understanding, and for this I am grateful.

– Tina Lackner

Tina Lackner acquired her Honours Diploma (Child & Youth Worker) from Humber College in 1992, Bachelor of Applied Arts (Child & Youth Care) from Ryerson University in 1994, and her Master of Science (Family Work) from Nova Southeastern University, US, in 1997. Tina is currently completing her Ph.D. in Philosophy, Human Relationships Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy at Martin Luther University College Federated with Wilfrid Laurier University. She brings over 20+ years of academic and clinical expertise to her current research role. She is a Certified Play Therapist, Registered Psychotherapist, Adult (and Children) Yoga Teacher and holds a Specialist Certificate in Applied Mindful Meditation.

Tina is the founder and lead trainer of TIYAMA Children’s Yoga Teacher training school, a specialized training that focuses on yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and mental health. Tina continues to support individuals in her private practice since its inception in 1999. Tina is a full-time faculty member in the Child and Youth Care Practitioner (CYCP) programs. Tina embodies a holistic approach to healing and mindfulness. She has held several workshops and seminars; articles published in related magazines; invited as a keynote speaker and lecturer on many occasions; contributed in her involvement with the Board at the Canadian Association of Play Therapy; and continues as an Adjunct Professor at Martin Luther University College.

Dr. Cristina Guerrero

I’m delighted to work on this NSERC project with Professor Tina Lackner, the research team, and our organizational partners! It’s crucial to draw from participants’ lived experiences in relation to the themes of hope, self-compassion, and authentic collaboration so that we can co-create an evidence-based framework for best serving the needs of service users. There is so much valuable knowledge to be gleaned when it comes to informing best practices for human services, and I am excited to learn from that. 

– Dr. Cristina Guerrero

Dr. Cristina Alexandra Guerrero is a full-time professor in the Child and Youth Care program at Humber College Lakeshore. She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (2003), a Master of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature (2004), a Bachelor of Education in Secondary Teaching (2005), as well as a Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development (2014) from the University of Toronto. Cristina worked at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) for 16 years in various roles, including secondary teacher, instructional leader, and K-12 learning coach. 

Cristina has over 10 years of experience conducting qualitative research. She is committed to participatory research through which participants actively engage in the entire research process. Her doctoral dissertation drew from Proyecto Latino, a joint TDSB-OISE/University of Toronto study that explored how Latinx youth took up youth participatory action research (YPAR) and negotiated their identities, conceptualizations of community, and understandings of transformative learning. She was also a co-researcher with Dr. Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez on Youth Solidarities across Borders, a 5-year SSHRC-funded study addressing how Indigenous, Latinx, and Black students engage with YPAR to co-create their own projects related to social justice. Cristina has also published in journals like The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy and Relational Child and Youth Care Practice.