The Haven Institute is a residential learning centre situated in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia on the west coast of Canada. Founded by Jock McKeen and Bennet Wong, the centre is owned and operated by The Haven Foundation, a Canadian federal nonprofit charity. The Haven Institute offers a wide variety of courses for personal and professional growth. It is registered in the province of British Columbia as a Private Post-Secondary institution in accordance with the Private Post-Secondary Education Act of B.C. (SBC CHAP 64). Also, it is a certified Educational Institution under Sec. 118.5 & 118.6 of the Canada Income Tax Act. The programs include a process for students aspiring to achieve a Diploma in Counseling or other post-secondary certification.
The Haven Institute History
In 1983, two physicians, Bennet Wong and Jock McKeen purchased the Taylor Bay Lodge, and transformed the small rural lodge into a waterfront resort and conference centre (MacMillan 1983), (Nanaimo Free Press, 1983), (Flying Shingle, 1983). They called it "a resort with a difference" because people could enter into the activities at whatever level they chose (Littleton 1985) (Haysom 2002). Some people came with their families to enjoy a country resort; groups and agencies held conferences; others attended the numerous residential self-awareness seminars (Adams, 2007). Still others returned for training in group and individual counselling, and over 60 people achieved the Diploma in Counselling (Dip.C.) from The Haven Institute (Personal Success 1998).
As their training program developed, Wong and McKeen attracted a faculty of like-minded students and teachers to the residential experiential learning centre on Gabriola Island. By the 1990s, there were fifty visiting faculty members from numerous disciplines, coming to Haven to teach in this nontraditional, open atmosphere of learning and growth (Littleton 1993). Some notable people who have taught there include Erv and Miriam Polster, Virginia Satir, Paul Reps, Carl Whitaker, James Bugental, Bruce Lipton, Lee Pulos, Thomas Szasz, Bill O'Hanlon, and Maria Gomori (Attorp, 2003), (Nanaimo News Bulletin, 2002), (Litwin, 2005). The annual Haven Symposium has featured Norm Shealy (Izzard, 2003), Joseph Chilton Pearce (Cameron 2005), Gabor Mate (Litwin 2005), Margaret Wheatley (Wheatley & Kellner-Rogers 2006), and Dan Millman (Common Ground 2007). There have also been numerous arts programs in the Phoenix Auditorium, Haven's performing arts theatre (Times Colonist 2002),(Murphy 2003),(Sounder, January 8, 2004), (Nanaimo News Bulletin, 2005),(Sounder, April 2006), (Filax 2006). Haven Institute Press has published a number of books, authored by founders Wong and McKeen and others (Wellburn, 2005), (Niosi, 2005).
The Core Programs for the Haven Institute are the modular Phase Programs and the Come Alive program that were developed by Jock McKeen and Bennet Wong. (Wong & McKeen 1983), (Wong & McKeen 1984), (Therapy Now 1984). Programs have been offered at Haven with Chinese translation since the early 1990s, and numerous Asian people have attended, both as participants, and as trainees in the Haven process (Tao, Sept. 1993), (Tao, Oct. 1993). Joann Peterson became the Director of Education in 1992, and oversaw the training of many interns and assistants in group and individual counselling until her death in 2007. The programs have continued to develop and broaden (Sounder 2003), (Campbell 2005), (Gibson, 2005), (Litwin, 2005), (Nanaimo Daily News, 2006).
In 2003, The Haven Foundation was established as a federally recognized Canadian charity. In 2004, Wong and McKeen and their three sons, the owners of Haven, passed the ownership of The Haven Institute into the Haven Foundation so that the facility and their work could continue in perpetuity (Sounder, January 22, 2004), (Nanaimo Daily News, Jan. 23, 2004).
The methods in the courses are educational, broad and eclectic, derived from a great variety of sources in the fields of humanistic and transpersonal psychology, as well as more traditional fields of psychology, religious studies, drama, music and art. The techniques used cover a broad spectrum of approaches, including gestalt, Reichian body approaches, acupuncture, psychodrama, psychosynthesis, role playing, family therapy, fantasy and visualization techniques, video work, music and play therapy, all stressing encounter and communication skills (Wong & McKeen 1999). The approaches are educational rather than therapeutic, so no medical or nursing care is available (Littleton 1985), (Fayerman 1998), (Times-Colonist, 2001), (Niosi, 2003). Some lectures and discussion groups are involved, but an emphasis is placed upon heuristic education in which the person is invited to experience situations where (s)he will be able to learn what is needed (Tao 1993), (Allen 2005, pp. xi, 20-24, 45-46, 91), (Robelin 2006).
- Staff Writer. "New Focus For Taylor Bay Resort", Nanaimo, BC: Nanaimo Free Press, Friday, August 19, 1983.
- Staff Writer. "New Use For Taylor Bay Lodge", Gabriola, BC: The Flying Shingle, Vol. IX, No. 8, August 1983, p. 1.
- Wong, B.R and McKeen, J. "What Kind of People Come to Workshops?", Heartwood, vol.2, no.2, Summer 1983.
- Staff Writer. "Bennet Wong and Jock McKeen: An Interview", Therapy Now, vol.1,no.1, Spring 1984
- Wong, B.R and McKeen, J. "The Changing Growth Environment", Natural Living, vol.1, no.4, July-Aug 1984.
- MacMillan, Neil. "Self-Help is the 'Inn' Thing", Nanaimo, BC: Nanaimo Free Press, Nov. 4, 1983.
- Littleton, Ellery. "A Resort with A Difference", Victoria, BC: Monday Magazine, Vol. 11, No.49, Nov. 28, 1985.
- Littleton, Ellery. "Three Paths to Exploration", Victoria, BC: Monday Magazine, Vol. 19, No.19, May 6, 1993.
- Attorp, Frants. "Haven by-the-Sea Celebrates Tenth Anniversary", Gabriola, BC: The Sounder, September 7, 2003, p. 14.
- Staff Writer. "Haven By-the-Sea", Vancouver, BC: Personal Success, July 1998.
- McKeen, J. and Wong, B.R. "Learning About Self-Responsibility: Programs at PD Seminars," Shen, No. 24, Fall 1999, pp. 4–6.
- Staff Writer. "Haven Resort Hosts Fall Concert Series", Nanaimo, BC: Nanaimo News Bulletin, Thursday, November 21, 2002, p. 34.
- Tao, Cora. "Haven and the Phase Program", Taipei, Taiwan: Broadcasting Monthly, September 1993.
- Tao, Cora. "Haven Experiences", Taipei, Taiwan: Broadcasting Monthly, October 1993.
- Fayerman, Pamela. "Breaking the Silence Over Depression", Vancouver, BC: Vancouver Sun, Wednesday October 7, 1998, p. B03.
- Staff Writer. "Instruction Focuses on Menla Medicine", Victoria, BC: Times-Colonist, Friday April 27, 2001, p B6.
- Staff Writer. "Dancing Man Has Gabriola Swinging", Victoria, BC: Times-Colonist, April 25, 2002, p D12.
- Haysom, Beth. "Calm Places to Relax and Recharge", Victoria, BC: Times-Colonist, Tuesday July 30, 2002, p C3.
- Murphy, Joan. "Gabriola Goes Tropical", Nanaimo, BC: The Daily News, Friday August 8, 2003, p C03.
- Niosi, Goody. "Find Your Potentional at The Haven", Nanaimo, BC: Harbour City Star, Sat, Oct 11, 2003, p. A2.
- Staff Writer. "Meeting the Challenge: Being Alive and Well in Stressful Times", Gabriola, BC: The Sounder, Thursday October 30, 2003.
- Izzard, Denese. "The Haven's First Symposium Alive and Well", Gabriola, BC: The Sounder, Nov. 13, 2003, p. 8.
- Staff Writer. "Otis Taylor Concert at the Haven", Gabriola, BC: The Sounder, Thursday, January 8, 2004.
- Staff Writer. "Haven Foundation Continues Mandate", Nanaimo, BC: The Daily News, Friday, January 23, 2004, p. A4.
- Staff Writer. "Haven Foundation", Gabriola, BC: The Sounder, Thursday, January 22, 2004.
- Cameron, Brent. "Interview with Joseph Chilton Pearce", Vancouver, BC: Common Ground, March 2005.
- Gibson, Jim. "Delayed Parenting Has Hurdles", Victoria, BC: Times-Colonist, May 24, 2005, p D3.
- Niosi, Goody. "Haven Founders Offer Tips on Happiness", Nanaimo, BC: Harbour City Star, Wed, Aug 31, 2005, p. A4.
- Wellburn, Lynn. "Health and Happiness - a Book on Mind/Body Connection", Nanaimo, BC: Harbour City Star, Wed, Oct. 5, 2005, p. A18.
- Campbell, Leslie. "Joann Peterson - The Resilient Life", Victoria, BC: Focus Magazine, Vol. 18, No.1, October 2005, pp. 46–49.
- Litwin, Grania. "Health Tied to History, MD Says", Victoria, BC: Times-Colonist, Friday, October 14, 2005, p D6.
- Staff Writer. "Poetry Gabriola Expands, Moves Festival", Nanaimo, BC: Nanaimo News Bulletin, Tuesday November 15, 2005, p 40.
- Allen, Wayne (2005). This Endless Moment, Waterloo, ON: Phoenix Centre Press ISBN 0-9684446-2-8
- Staff Writer. "Learn to Live With Passion", Nanaimo, BC: The Daily News, Friday January 20, 2006, p C02.
- Wheatley, Margaret & Kellner-Rogers, Myron. "Community: The Promise and the Paradox", Vancouver, BC: Common Ground, March 2006.
- Staff Writer. "Pure Blues of Guy Davis – on Stage", Gabriola, BC: The Sounder, Monday, April 3, 2006.
- Robelin, Giselle. "Festival of the Healing Hearts", Gabriola, BC: The Sounder, Monday, May 15, 2006.
- Filax, Gloria. "Singing for Ourselves, Singing for Others, Singing for KIDZPOSITIVE", Gabriola, BC: The Sounder, Tuesday, May 23, 2006.
- Staff Writer. "Interview With Dan Millman", Vancouver, BC: Common Ground, March 2007.
- Adams, Linda. "Trust Outlines Agenda for Public Meeting", Bowen Island, BC: Bowen Island Undercurrent, Friday March 9, 2007, p. 05.