Kelly Yi, Ph.D., LP

Kelly Yi, Ph.D., LPCore Faculty

The Board of Trustees of Sofia University is the corporate body established by the charter with complete responsibility for the government and welfare of the University and all the interests pertaining thereto including students, faculty, staff, and alumni.


Dr. Kelly Yi has over 20 years of clinical experience working with individuals, couples, families and groups at numerous agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as in South Korea. He is the Associate Chair of the Psy.D. program at The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology/Sofia University. He also is former clinical faculty at Stanford University and Palo Alto University. Dr. Yi has a passion for bringing contemplative healing practices to underserved populations. He has been a practitioner and mentor in various contemplative traditions since 1992. He studied the psychology of religion and comparative religious/spiritual experiences as an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara. In graduate school, he conducted original doctoral research on long-term mindfulness training and well-being, examining the experiences of long-term practitioners and teachers of mindfulness. He is a past post-doctoral Summer Research Fellow of The Mind and Life Institute, as well as a research assistant on the Mind and Life Institute’s leading edge Cultivating Emotional Balance project. He is a certified Cultivating Emotional Balance teacher. He also is certified in: The Realization Process as Meditation teacher, Induced After-Death Communications, Thomas Hubl Practice Group Facilitation; and has extensive training in Internal Family Systems, EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, ACT, Psychodrama, Somatics, MBSR, MBCT, Chi Nei Tsang, Depth Hypnosis, Emotion Focused Couples Therapy, and Structural/Strategic Family Therapy among other approaches. Dr. Yi has specializations working with spiritual and religious issues, addictions, trauma, ethnic identity and cultural issues, anxiety, depression, stress, relationships, and meaning of life issues. He is currently writing a book on the integration of Eastern and Western psychologies.

University Email: kelly.yi@sofia.edu

Credentials: PhD Licensed Psychologist

Program: PsyD, MACP, MATP-O

Educational Research:

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow 
    The Mind and Life Institute – Investigated the interface between education, developmental neuroscience, and contemplative practices in facilitating well – being across the lifespan.
  • Dissertation Research
    The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology – Explored the nature of long term mindfulness training and its role in well – being. Utilized both qualitative (Heuristic and Narrative) and quantitative methods of data collection, analysis and presentation.


  • PhD, Transpersonal Psychology, Clinical, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University, Accredited by WASC, CAPIC member, September
  • M.A., CounselingPsychology, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University, June 2003
  • B.A., Double Major in Psychology and Religious Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara, magna cum laude, August 1997

Licensures & Certifications:

  • Certified Realization Process Meditation Teacher
  • Certified Cultivating Emotional Balance Teacher
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist
  • Certified Hypnotherapist

Research Interests (Ph.D. Faculty):

  • Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy
  • Contemplative Psychologies
  • Mindfulness
  • Spiritual approaches to mental health problems,
  • Near Death Experiences
  • After Death Communications
  • Shamanism
  • Buddhism
  • Modern Spiritual Approaches
  • Integrative Approaches to Psychotherapy


  • Yi, K. (2017). Recontextualizing “mindfulness”: Considering the phenomenological enactment of clinical, spiritual, and religious realities. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 4, 209-215.

More faculty members:

Dorote Weyers-Lucci, Ph.D.Faculty: Bachelor's Completion, Global College, Master of Business Administration

Simone M. DiMatteo, Ph.D.MBA Program Chair and Core Faculty

Jennifer M. Crane, LMFTProgram Chair

Michelle M. Daly, LPCProfessor

Jeng-Dau James Wu, DBAProfessor: MA of Business Administration

Robert Wood, PhD.Sofia Core Faculty, Chair-Transpersonal Studies

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Kelly Yi, Ph.D., LP

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