Bennet Wong

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Bennet Wong
BornJuly 16, 1930 (1930-07-16)
DiedSeptember 25, 2013(2013-09-25) (aged 83)
EducationUniversity of Alberta, Menninger Clinic
Years active1956-2013
Known forCo-founder, Haven Institute
Medical career
ProfessionPsychiatrist, author, lecturer
InstitutionsHaven Institute
ResearchHuman Potential Movement

Bennet Randall Wong (July 16, 1930 – September 25, 2013), was a Canadian psychiatrist, author and lecturer who co-founded the Haven Institute, a residential experiential learning centre on the west coast of Canada, with Jock McKeen.[1] His writings focused on mental illness, group psychotherapy, humanistic psychology and personal growth.

Education and honours[edit]


Individual career[edit]

Wong was clinical director at the Winfield State Hospital in Winfield, Kansas, from 1957 to 1959. He then practised adolescent psychiatry in Vancouver, B.C., from 1961 until 1975. Wong was an early adopter of the encounter group process. During the late 1960s, he offered media comments on youth, including hosting a national television forum on youth on CBC-TV[3][4] He discussed many issues with Canada's former Minister of Health and Welfare, Judy Lamarsh, and television journalist (and later Canadian senator) Laurier Lapierre.[5] Throughout his career, he has been an advocate of humanistic approaches to dealing with children, adolescents and families.[6] He incorporated the mind-body approaches of Wilhelm Reich into his work, as well as the perspectives of existential therapy.[7][8] Wong was a member of the Board of Directors of Moffat Communications Ltd. for twenty-five years (1973–1999). He has been noted in Who's Who in Canada.[9] Wong was appointed as Visiting Professor of Humanistic Psychology at Hua Wei University in Shen Zhen, China, in 2007.[10] [11]

Partnership with Jock McKeen[edit]

After working in individual practices in Vancouver, B.C. (McKeen in acupuncture and Wong in adolescent psychiatry), they left private practice in 1975 to conduct residential growth groups at the Cold Mountain Institute on Cortes Island, British Columbia. After the demise of the Cold Mountain Institute in 1980, Wong and McKeen helped to establish the Cortes Centre for Human Development, and conducted seminars organized by this nonprofit society until 1983, when they co-founded The Haven Institute.[12] Wong and McKeen challenge the traditional medical model, encouraging physicians to be less objectifying, to develop more self-awareness and adopt a more holistic approach to patient care.[13][14] Wong and McKeen have taught this integrative approach in Canada, U.S.A., China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand as well as countries in Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East.[15] [16]

Establishment of the Haven Institute[edit]

Wong and McKeen founded The Haven Institute in 1983, a residential experiential learning school on Gabriola Island, B.C., and were active in its development until 2004, when ownership was passed to The Haven Foundation.[17] Both men were appointed Emeritus Faculty of The Haven Institute.[18] They were both given honorary doctorates by Vancouver Island University for their work in establishing the Haven Institute.[19]


  1. ^ "Haven co-founder dies at 83 - News". Nanaimo Daily News. 2013-07-23. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
  2. ^ *Staff Writer (January 3, 2012), "Founders of The Haven Institute to receive honorary degrees from VIU", Gabriola Sounder, Gabriola, BC
  3. ^ * Fewster, Gerry (2001), Ben and Jock: A Biography, Parksville, BC: Oolichan Books, pp. 54, 55, ISBN 0-88982-202-6, OCLC 48242601
  4. ^ *Brown, Nancy. (1970), "Sex, LSD, Lies, Theft Probed by Panel", The Times-Colonist, Victoria, BC, pp. C1–C2
  5. ^ *Lapierre, Laurier. (Spring 1981), "Men of Merit", The West Ender, Vancouver, BC, 2 (4), p. 4
  6. ^ * Fewster, Gerry (2001), Ben and Jock: A Biography, Parksville, BC: Oolichan Books, pp. 56–59 74–76, ISBN 0-88982-202-6, OCLC 48242601
  7. ^ *Gomori, Maria. (2002), Passion For Freedom, Taipei: Zhang Lao, p. 204, ISBN 957-693-581-4, OCLC 62134500
  8. ^ *Allen, Wayne (2005), This Endless Moment, Waterloo, ON: Phoenix Centre Press, pp. 45, 46, ISBN 0-9684446-2-8, OCLC 56532288
  9. ^ Whelpton, E., ed. (1977), "Bennet Randall Wong", Who's Who in Canada, 1, Toronto: International Press Ltd., pp. 1080–81, ISBN 978-0-8020-9966-2, OCLC 21583544
  10. ^ *Hao, Tan (September 17, 2007), "East Meets West in a Deep Place", 21st Century Economics, Guanzhou, China, pp. 20–22
  11. ^ *Assaf, M (December 24, 2011), "Haven self-development programs foster international relationships", Nanaimo News Bulletin, Nanaimo, BC, p. 11
  12. ^ *Burke, Stanley (June 1984), "Care to Go Firewalking?", Nanaimo Times, Nanaimo, BC, p. 5
  13. ^ *Peterkin, Audrey (February 7, 1984), "Find Time for Personal Growth, Students Urged", The Medical Post, Toronto, ON, p. 44, ISSN 0025-7435
  14. ^ *Moser, Karin (May 23, 1979), "Doctors Urged to Educate Their Patients", The Free Press, London, ON, p. 3
  15. ^ *Cornish, Murray (May 1993), "Healthcare in the Eastern Tradition", Canada Hong Kong Business Magazine, Hong Kong, p. 7,8
  16. ^ *Walton, Paul (May 19, 2012), "Haven Founders release new book", Daily News, Nanaimo, BC, pp. C1, C2
  17. ^ *Bulletin, Staff Reporter (January 22, 2004), "Haven Reborn as a Foundation", Nanaimo News Bulletin, Nanaimo, BC, p. 24
  18. ^ *Sounder, Staff Writer (January 22, 2004), "Haven Foundation", The Sounder, Gabriola, BC, p. 3, archived from the original on July 16, 2011
  19. ^ *Staff Writer (January 2, 2012), "Founders of The Haven Institute receive honorary degrees from VIU", Flying Shingle, Gabriola, BC, p. 7


Selected Wong publications[edit]

  • Wong, B.R. (July 1968), "The Adolescent in Our Changing Society", Child Welfare, XLVII (7), pp. 411–416, ISSN 0009-4021, OCLC 1071435.
  • Wong, B.R. (October 1970), "Obstacles to Understanding Youth", Canadian Doctor, 36 (10), pp. 97–100, ISSN 0008-3429, OCLC 1850301.
  • Wong, B.R. (Fall 2005), "Toilet Training", Relational Child & Youth Care, 18 (3), p. 57, ISSN 1705-625X, OCLC 52156766.

Wong and McKeen collaborative publications[edit]

See Wong McKeen Collaborative Publications on Wikipedia's article for Jock McKeen

External links[edit]