SAS of NJ developed as a result of my interest in working for a clinic that specialized in the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) of anxiety disorders. At the time I had worked for 12 years as a full time senior psychologist in the outpatient department of Richard Hall Community Mental Health Center in Bridgewater, New Jersey, and during that time I had established a reputation as an expert in CBT.
Most of the other therapists with whom I had worked at Richard Hall utilized a more psychodynamic, family systems, or case management approach in their treatment of clients. Because they traditionally responded so well to CBT, many of the anxiety- disordered clients that entered the Center were assigned to me. In addition, my post- doctoral training prepared me to run CBT groups for different anxiety disorders, and over the years I had run many such groups.
I wanted, however, to be part of an organization which would be dedicated to this particular kind of treatment for these particular kinds of clients. My search throughout Central New Jersey revealed that, while there were a few skilled individual mental health practitioners doing this kind of work, few if any dedicated their practice exclusively to the CBT of anxiety disorders. In addition, back in 1998, there was a lack of more comprehensive treatment organizations offering such services as group treatment, educational presentations, or referrals to other practitioners, support groups or other anxiety treatment services. I was looking for a place similar to several other Stress and Anxiety Centers which existed throughout the country and which provided these specialized services, but was disappointed in what was available. Hence, I decided to create SAS of NJ.
SAS of NJ is designed primarily to be a provider of psychological services. The individual treatment of different anxiety disorders, including Social Phobia (social anxiety), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia, Specific Phobias, and Generalized Anxiety Disorders are the staple services. One of the unique offerings is the short- term CBT groups for the treatment of these disorders. As of 1998 there had been very little available in the way of outpatient group treatment for these disorders in the Central New Jersey area.
In addition, SAS of NJ may be seen as a clearinghouse for information and referral for persons seeking information about these disorders. In my unique positions as Vice President of the New Jersey Affiliate of the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, veteran of 14 years at a major Central New Jersey Community Mental Health Center, and Professional Member of many relevant organizations including the American Association for the Advancement of Behavioral Therapy, the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, the New Jersey Psychological Association, the New Jersey Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, and the Middlesex County Association of Psychologists, I have access to much information relevant to the CBT of anxiety disorders in New Jersey. Other services, such as workshops, training, and clinical supervision, are also available from SAS of NJ. In the future, I hope to have stress and anxiety management products made available through the organization as well.
Ultimately, I want SAS of NJ to be seen by anxiety sufferers, their friends and families, mental health professionals, and relevant groups and organizations, as the first stop for information, products, and services related to anxiety disorders and their treatment in New Jersey.
So welcome again to this website!
– Allen H. Weg, Ed. D.