Are Holen, MD PhD (born 1945 in Norway), founded Acem in 1966, when he was a student. He has been a pivotal person in the development of Acem Meditation and the psychology of meditation. He is the head of Acem International.
In 1968, he founded the first yoga school in Norway, Acem School of Yoga.
A respected lecturer and meditation guide, he has been practising yoga and breathing exercises since 1961 and meditation since 1963. He has instructed – either personally or through others – tens of thousands of individuals, in different countries and cultures. He frequently leads Acem retreats in a variety of locations around the world.
Both a professional psychologist and a physician, Dr. Holen specializes in psychiatry and psychotherapy and is a consultant in the field.
He is full-time, tenured Professor of Behavioural Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway. He also holds a position as Adjunct Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of North Dakota.
His areas of research are traumatic stress, medical education and group processes. He is an internationally renowned stress researcher and an expert in the study of people in crisis after accidents and disasters.
He is involved in meditation research and has published several books and articles on meditation.
He has also studied Sanskrit. During Acem’s first years, he spent some time in India, comparing and exploring different meditative traditions.
He is married and the father of two children.