Haven training programs

The Haven offers training programs in counselling skills, group facilitation and leadership for adults and youth.

Certificate and Diploma Programs for Adults

Studies at The Haven Institute are designed to suit a broad range of life circumstances, interests, and learning styles. Individuals can experience the pleasure of personal discovery and professional development in an atmosphere respectful of their particular strengths and challenges. Our training focuses on learning how to:

  • Support others while being fully present with ourselves.
  • Work in an interdependent team, being personal and supportive.
  • Develop skills in interpersonal communication, energetic experiential forms and group facilitation.

The Haven offers training at two levels:

  • Certificate in Haven Counselling Skills (Cert HCS).
  • Diploma in Haven Counselling Skills (Dip HCS) or Diploma in Haven Group Facilitation (Dip HGF)


Learn more about what it’s like to study at The Haven through one intern’s experience: https://haven.ca/stay-connected/news/learning-gets-your-bones

1. Certificate Prerequisites

Completion of the Certificate Prerequisites is required for admission to the Certificate training. Students will, as a minimum, participate in:

  • Come Alive.
  • Living Alive Phase I.
  • One or two elective programs.

2. Certificate in Haven Counselling Skills (CertHCS)

Upon successful completion of the Certificate Prerequisites, the student may apply for admission to the Certificate training.

Students in the Certificate training will, as a minimum:

  • Participate in Living Alive Phase II and several elective programs.
  • Intern on two core programs, including one Come Alive (Living Alive Phase II must be completed prior to interning**).
  • Submit a written paper.

** Exceptions only with prior approval from the Director of Intern Training. Equivalency credit may be granted for similar programs (including Teens Alive and Kids in the Spotlight) with the approval of the Director of Intern Training.

Graduation requires not only the completion of specified programs and electives, but also a demonstrated ability to work in a team setting, and to act in an ethical manner with fellow students, participants and Haven Institute staff and faculty.

Students apply for entrance by submitting an application form (see above) to the Registrar and paying a $150 application fee. An interview with the Director of Intern Training is part of the admission process.

3. Diploma Training

Upon completion of the requirements of the Certificate in Haven Counselling Skills the student may apply for entry into one of the two Diploma Training options. Submit an application form (see above).

  • Diploma in Haven Counselling Skills (Dip HCS) – for those whose goals include work with individuals in various counselling or teamwork settings.
  • Diploma in Haven Group Facilitation (Dip HGF) – for those whose goals include work in settings where group facilitation is prominent.

With the guidance of the Director of Intern Training, students in either Diploma will as a minimum:

  • Participate in required and elective programs.
  • Intern on Come Alive and Living Alive Phases I and II (New Horizons Phase III must be completed prior to interning**).
  • Complete a senior internship in either Phase I or II.
  • Prepare papers and a presentation.

** Exceptions only with prior approval from the Director of Intern Training. Equivalency credit may be granted for similar programs (including Teens Alive and Kids in the Spotlight) with the approval of the Director of Intern Training.

The student is awarded a Haven Diploma upon successful completion of the required programs and upon demonstration of high levels of interpersonal skills, sound judgment, and skill in using experiential forms in a responsible and ethical way.

The application process includes completion of an application form (see above), an interview with the Director of Intern Training, and payment of a $150 application fee.

The Certificate in Haven Counselling Skills, Diploma in Haven Counselling Skills and the Diploma in Haven Group Facilitation are programs that have been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. 

Youth Leadership Training

The Youth Leadership Diploma (YLD) program provides an exceptional experience for youth of a range of ages, backgrounds and talents. This program builds on and formalizes the many years of internship opportunities for teens that have been a vital part of Kids in the Spotlight and Teens Alive. The YLD program offers youth the possibility of meaningful volunteer hours to satisfy high school graduation requirements; opportunities for a positive working experience; support for moving into paid employment (including references); and a way to demonstrate extracurricular or volunteer experience that is valuable in applying for university or other post-secondary education. Teens with YLD program experience may take their skills onwards into adult leadership. Youth can move through the intern training via Kids in the Spotlight or Teens Alive alone, or a combination of both.

Read more about our Youth Leadership Diploma Program (PDF).

1. Youth Intern Level

At the Youth Intern Level the teen will:

  • Be at least age 13 for the Kids in the Spotlight (KITS) internship and at least 15 for internship in Teens Alive (TA).
  • If interning in TA, have completed both TA I and II as a participant.
  • Pay the full tuition fee, as if they were participants in KITS or TA.
  • Pay the full fee for accommodation and meals (and if under 15 must stay with their parents/guardians).
  • Attend a maximum of 2 KITS programs per year (for 1st and 2nd year youth interns).

The application process involves an application form (signed by both youth and guardian), an interview with Denise Goldbeck, leader of KITS or David Raithby or Linda Nicholls, leaders of Teens Alive, and payment of an application fee to cover processing and administration costs.

Download the Youth Leadership Diploma Program application form (PDF).

Deadline for submitting the application is December 31st of the year prior to the program. Notification of approval will be sent via the Haven registrars by March 1st.

Note that all interns attend a Youth Intern Training Workshop each year they are in the internship program. There is a fee for this workshop.

Youth interns focus on communication skills, self-responsibility, boundaries, support of others and initiative.  After a minimum of two years at the youth intern level, students may apply to move up to the Volunteer Level.  The application will only be accepted if they have fulfilled all the requirements of the Youth Intern Level.

For more information about Youth Intern Training, please contact The Haven Registrars at 1 800 222 9211 x1 or register@haven.ca.

2. Volunteer level

Teens must have the skills of the Youth Intern level to become a Volunteer. Teens learn communication skills, and practice group leading, self reflection, and self-responsibility. Initiative and a deeper understanding of social interaction are encouraged. New tasks are performed that open up new possibilities in their lives. Teens learn responsible attitudes and behaviours that support good employment habits, and conflict management. Overall, teens gain a profound understanding of personal process in terms of the challenges of human development and identity.

A Volunteer is eligible to attend one session per year with no tuition charge. Accommodation and meal charges apply.  If the Volunteer attends more than one session they pay the usual tuition, accommodation and meal charges for the additional sessions. If 15 years or older they can live in the intern accommodation. Volunteers attend a maximum of three KITS programs per season (one with no tuition charge).

Volunteers learn and practice:

  • Communication skills
  • Group leading
  • Self reflection
  • Self-responsibility
  • Initiative
  • A deeper understanding of social interaction
  • Responsible attitudes and behaviours
  • Conflict management
  • A profound understanding of personal process in terms of the challenges of human development and identity

A Volunteer Certificate is issued once the student has successfully demonstrated the skills required at this level. A student may remain at the Volunteer Level for up to three years in order to learn and practice these skills. The Volunteer Certificate is accompanied by a letter with a description of the program and the number of volunteer hours completed.

3. Apprentice Level

To become an Apprentice the student must have good understanding of their personal process, have the skills of the Volunteer level, and have the approval of the instructor (Denise Goldbeck for KITS, David Raithby/ Linda Nicholls for TA).

An Apprentice takes on the tasks of teaching and training the Volunteers and Youth Interns and works on skills such as group leading, communication, conflict resolution, relationships, empathy, embodiment, and self-compassion, while exploring and developing his or her own identity.


  • Do not pay tuition for KITS or TA.
  • Do not pay room and board and live in intern accommodation.
  • Can attend a maximum of 3 programs per season, depending on available funding.

4. Graduation

The key competencies and values taught in the Youth Leadership Diploma program are passion, compassion, communication, self-awareness, self-responsibility, empathy, and embodiment of the self.

In addition to the specific requirements of the Apprentice level, to complete the Diploma the student must have:

  • A minimum of four Youth Intern Training Workshops.
  • Internship in at least four programs (one program is five days of KITS, six days of TA I and II).

The key competencies described above plus the following, demonstrated over time:(i) a good understanding of their own process and ability to describe other processes; (ii) ability to lead groups; iii) responsibility in his/her actions, (iv) communication with others, and (v) consideration of others.

5. Assistantship

Assistants are those youth who have graduated from the Youth Leadership Diploma program. They may assist at TA or KITS, in which case they:

  • Must attend one Youth Intern Workshop each year.
  • Pay no room or board. 
  • Are paid a set dollar amount.

The Mackenzie Dickson Annika Raithby Youth Leadership Scholarship

The Mackenzie Dickson Annika Raithby Youth Leader Scholarship, endowed by Laurie Kelley and Scott Poole, provides Kids in the Spotlight and Teens Alive with a capable Youth Leader who demonstrates highly developed team and leadership skills. The endowment will support the leader through a series of programs: Youth Intern Training, five consecutive Kids in the Spotlight Programs and three Teens Alive Programs. The recipient of the endowment will be selected, and invited, each year by Haven faculty leading youth programs: Denise Goldbeck, David Raithby and Linda Nicholls with input from Annika and Mackenzie.

The Mackenzie Dickson Annika Raithby Youth Leader Scholarship will go each year to someone who is as exemplary in their own way as Mackenzie and Annika are in their own particular ways. Eligible applicants aged 18 and older receive an email invitation from The Haven to apply in December. The recipient of the scholarship is announced in February.