Women in business have dual, often conflicting, expectations placed upon them. The aim, we are told, is to have satisfaction in our jobs and satisfaction with our family life. The pop wisdom says that this is work/life balance, but a balance implies “one or the other” as the demands see-saw.

Psychiatrist and business consultant Dr. Peter Crist emphasizes that the ultimate aim is a work/love integration — the seamless blending of these two major aspects of emotional wellbeing.

Dr. Crist will address the challenges of achieving this integration in his presentation on “Balancing Work & Love” Saturday, February 6, at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the fourth part of the American College of Orgonomy’s ongoing series of Social Orgonomy talks.

In this interactive open discussion format, Dr. Crist will address the audience about their own personal situations and look at what works and what gets in the way of having both a healthy, satisfying work life and an equally fulfilling, happy love and family life. Admission is free thanks to the generosity of supporters. Suggested adult, non-student donation is $45. Reservations are recommended. Call 732-821-1144 or reserve online.

“Satisfaction in both work and love is the basis for a full life,” Dr. Crist says. “But too often people focus on satisfaction in only one as a way of avoiding anxieties in the other.” He clarifies that, “It’s not how much someone works that makes for a workaholic but whether she is consumed by business to avoid addressing other things such as dissatisfaction in her marriage. Conversely, a ‘love-aholic’ may become consumed with caring for her children and her spouse to avoid her fears of attempting a career she’s interested in pursuing.”

True satisfaction in all realms of a woman’s life is the result of a qualitative assessment rather than a quantitative one. Dr. Crist notes, “The focus of communication between couples seeking to support each other needs to be on clearly articulating what is mutually satisfying both at home and at work rather than merely divvying up tasks to get through the day.”

He also points out that the acid test for satisfaction frequently comes when other distractions of life abate. “The children are grown and gone or one partner retires,” says Dr. Crist. “Then the question is clearly ‘Am I satisfied with my life undefined by family or work?’”

He notes another watershed moment might come when it makes financial sense for a husband to become the family caregiver rather than the wife. “Can the woman manage her career and also let go of her accustomed role of taking care of the children and running the household. And can she let her husband care for the children and manage the home in his own way? At such turning points couples need to really work to articulate their mutual expectations.”

In his work with couples, Dr. Crist encourages them to examine what gives each the most satisfaction at home and at work and to see how they can make changes that support what they both want. Dr. Crist sums up, “The goal, as hard as it may be to achieve at times can occur when both work and love are undisturbed and a satisfying work life brings passion and depth to our love life while a mutually satisfying love life generates a spark that energizes our work life.”

American College of Orgonomy. www.orgonomy.org or 732-821-1144.

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