Jorge-960x960.jpg
Dr. Sal Benanti

Founder/Director

Dr. Salvatore Benanti received his doctorate from Columbia University where he has been a guest lecturer in the graduate division. During his own graduate studies there, he completed a Master’s degree in Psychological Counseling and Physical Rehabilitation, and a second Master’s in Philosophy and The Social Sciences. His interdisciplinary doctoral thesis identified four basic ways of relating to ourselves and others, and how these fulfill or restrict our life’s best potentials.

During his 12 years in New York, he immersed himself in learning from leading experts in human potential, personal and spiritual growth, mind-body fitness, nutrition, stress reduction, and healing enhancement. This period also included his post-graduate studies at The Institute for Advanced Clinical Training in Psychotherapy, the C.G. Jung Institute, and The Center for East/West Studies.

In 1989, Dr. Benanti founded The Center for Optimum Living in Kinnelon, NJ as a resource for those learning how to thrive beyond the averages and limitations of contemporary norms. By 2017 he had mentored a select group of life coaches to help provide for the growing numbers of people wanting to further optimize their lives.

Earlier in his career, he achieved clinical supervisor status in The National Academy of Certified Clinical Mental Health Counseling, was elected as a fellow of the Society for Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, and served for seven years as lead mediator for the Kinnelon Court’s Community Dispute Resolution Committee.

His other affiliations have included positions at The State University of New York at Stony Brook, Monmouth Medical Center, The Montclair Center for Psychodrama, The Serenity Health and Yoga Center, and Fair Oaks Hospital.

Over the years, he has presented workshops at state, national, and international conferences, and has been a guest speaker for many community organizations. He has also provided both personnel systems and stress-management consulting services for businesses, and has served on the board of advisors for Whip-Smart Management Consulting.

Ever since his early 20's, he's been inspired by our innate ability to bring forth more of life's best potentials. Not only has this perspective guided him in working with clients, but also in sculpting stone and clay, building stone walls, carpentry and physical fitness. He loves tending his family gardens and grounds, parenting, grand-parenting, and sharing life with his musically-gifted wife, Linda, for over 35 years. He also loves nature, plays, movies, world cultures, healthy foods, good friends, his wife's cooking, family vacations ... and when the opportunity arises, he loves to wander and explore.