His Majesty the King of Norway has appointed Acem's founder Dr. Are Holen as Officer of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav for his services to society.
Dr. Holen is professor and former vice dean of the medical faculty at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, where he is currently doing research in the fields of stress psychiatry, medical education and group processes. He has also taught and done research at Stanford University, the University of California San Francisco, and the University of North Dakota. He was called in as an expert after the terror incident in Norway on 22 July 2011, the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004, and the attack on World Trade Center 11 September 2001. Dr. Holen has been a central driving force behind the Acem International School of Meditation since its inception in 1966.
The basis for the appointment includes the following points:
- Through his work, Dr Holen has contributed to the improvement of our understanding of psychological issues and stress management. As a researcher, therapist and educator, he has established follow-up routines and support procedures to reduce the negative after-effects for people who have been through disasters and stressful life events.
- Dr. Holen is a specialist in psychiatry and a professor in the Department of Neuromedicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. He has been a pioneer within the experience-based learning of communication, group dynamics and cross-disciplinary cooperation in practice, both at a national and an international level.
- As a founder and driving force in Acem, Dr. Holen has established courses in meditation to increase self-understanding and reduce moderate stress ailments. In this context, he has inspired others to voluntary work for the public good. In this way, Dr. Holen has contributed to the dissemination of important values such as empathy, insight, commitment and compassion, both in Norway and abroad.