Allyson Pimentel, EdD
Allyson Pimentel, EdD is a psychologist, yoga teacher, and long-time Vipassana practitioner who works at the intersection of mindfulness and mental health. She works in Student Affairs at UCLA where she is the Associate Director of the Office of Campus & Student Resilience, founding member of the Resilience in Your Student Experience (RISE) Center, and Director of Mindfulness Programs.
Allyson received her doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. She was drawn to meditation in high school, when she started practicing Transcendental Meditation. She found Vipassana during her graduate studies and began practicing at Cambridge Insight. Allyson went on to become a dedicated practitioner, practice leader, and active member of the POC sangha at New York Insight, where she studied with Gina Sharpe.
Allyson has sat many Vipassana 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 and serves as a mentor in the Training in Mindfulness Facilitation (TMF) program. She has also participated in professional training programs by Urban Zen, Mindful Schools, The Lineage Project, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) under the direction of Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. She completed yoga teacher training at Laughing Lotus NY and taught yoga for years at Om Factory NYC and elsewhere. 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. She later co-founded and was the 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.
During her years at Bellevue, 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, professional development, and meditation instruction for educators, mental health practitioners, and activists.