Allyson Pimentel, Ed.D. is a psychologist, yoga teacher, and long-time Vipassana practitioner who works at the intersection of mindfulness and mental health. Allyson is the Associate Director of UCLA’s office of Campus & Student Resilience where she directs Mindful UCLA, an initiative that promotes resilience, well-being, compassion, connection and social justice through mindfulness-related programming and events.
Allyson received her doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. She had been practicing Transcendental Meditation since high school, but it was during her graduate school years that Allyson was drawn to Vipassana. She began practicing at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center and, later, became a dedicated practitioner, active member of the POC sangha, and practice leader at New York Insight, where she studied with Gina Sharpe. Allyson has sat many retreats over the years, primarily at IMS with Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg. She completed mindfulness facilitator training at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC), where she now teaches. She has also participated in professional training programs by Mindful Schools, The Lineage Project, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) under the direction of Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. Allyson served on the Board of Directors of Insight Meditation Society (IMS) and The Lineage Project.
A native New Yorker, Allyson previously served as the senior psychologist and Acting Program Coordinator of Bellevue Hospital Center’s Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic. Over the years, her experience and insights as a meditation practitioner became more deeply integrated into her clinical work as a psychologist. She co-founded and was Training Director of the former Mind-Body Clinic at Bellevue, a service that brought mindfulness-based treatment approaches to people living with psychiatric and medical illness.
Allyson also served as Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry at NYU Medical Center and provided training and supervision on mind-body approaches to mental health for medical students, psychology interns, and psychiatry residents. She has presented on mindfulness and mental health in a variety of academic, corporate, and community settings. She maintained a private psychotherapy practice in New York City and has a consulting practice in LA specializing in mindfulness-based interventions, stress reduction, meditation instruction, and strategies for living with greater ease and more joy.