Ben Wong and Jock McKeen founded The Haven in 1983. A centre for relational education, The Haven is not your average self-help retreat. In fact, retreat the the opposite of what we do at The Haven. It would be more correct to refer to The Haven as an engage centre. We engage ourselves, learning to be whole, responsible and a bigger part of our own lives.
"In the work of their own lives, Wong and McKeen have simply moved beyond the tedious debates that have separated the various schools of thought. Through their courage to confront the 'isnness' of their own experience they have detached themselves from the closed world views of philosophical prescriptions and, in their commitment to the integrity of their own truth, they have avoided the 'rightness' and 'wrongness' of academic psychologizing. Above all, within their own relationship, they have created a living experimental laboratory with standards of discipline and rigour capable of intimidating even the most zealous scientist-practitioner."
Gerry Fewster, Ph.D. Editor, Journal of Child and Youth Care
Bennet Wong, known as Ben to his family and countless friends, colleagues, students and admirers, passed away in the Palliative Care Unit of the Nanaimo General Hospital in the evening of Wednesday 25 September 2013. He died from complications brought on by Parkinson’s disease. Click here to read Ben’s obituary.
Jock McKeen and Bennet Wong
Bennet Wong, M.D., F.R.C.P.(c), D.Litt., received his psychiatric training at the Menninger School of Psychiatry. Jock McKeen, M.D., Lic.Ac.(UK), D.Litt., studied at the College of Chinese Acupuncture, Oxford, England. Since retiring from medical practice, Ben and Jock together have blended an in-depth approach to self- development aimed at integration of the individual in body, mind and spirit, emphasizing responsibility for the self in health, relationships and lifestyle.
In their over 40 years of professional association together, they have been feature presenters at conferences and workshops around the world. They have traveled and taught extensively in Asia and Europe, as well as Russia, Africa and South America; they bring an ease with cross-cultural approaches to their work. Consultants to many agencies, corporations and groups, they have a wide experience in working with people in a variety of contexts. They have both served on the boards of major corporations.
Most of their approach has been derived from their intense investigation of their own relationship, as well as their experiences with their clients. In their unique, personable way, they create an atmosphere of intimacy and trust in which each person is able to transform in his or her own fashion.
Their most recent books include The Illuminated Heart: Perspectives on East-West Psychology and Thought (2012), Being: A Manual For Life (2013) and Joining: The Relationship Garden (2013). These and other books can be purchased at The Haven's store and, a sampling of their writing can be viewed on our articles page as well as in our periodical Shen.
In 2004, The Haven Foundation was established, a federally recognized Canadian nonprofit charity. Wong and McKeen and their three sons passed the ownership of The Haven Institute into The Haven Foundation so that the facility and their work could continue in perpetuity. Both men are now Emeritus Faculty of The Haven Institute. In 2012, they were awarded honorary doctorates (Doctor of Letters) by Vancouver Island University for their work in establishing the Haven.
On March 18 2013 The Haven was host venue and sponsor of TEDxGabriolaIsland. Here is Jock McKeen’s talk, A Dynamic Model of Empathy from that event.
Jock and Bennet's courageous decision to study their relationship with complete honesty has given us a whole new outlook on relationships. I have a feeling that this is the beginning of a new era for humankind and for medicine.