057 – BEST OF – The Dark Side of Occupation with Rebecca Twinley


Voted by you guys as one of the four best episodes thus far, Rebecca Twinley’s Dark Side of Occupation has been growing exponentially over the last few years. If you’ve heard this episode before I can guarantee you’ll get something new out of it. If you haven’t heard this amazing episode before, strap in, you’re in for a ride!


Dr Twinley came into my life, as many have, via online connections and shared thoughts on Occupation and Occupational Therapy. When we first connected was just before she publicly released the concept of The Dark Side of Occupation. This concept very easily resonated with me. It integrated into my clinical practice and conceptualization very easily. It just made sense.

The understanding that occupations having purpose and meaning, being contextually situated and having an impact on health are nothing new to OTs. Reflecting on “the dark side” of occupations and seeing that there are many people in society, you included, who engage in maladaptive, harmful or health decreasing occupations was profound. It’s something, that for many, doesn’t seem to have been given the focus it deserved until it was given a name.

Why is it important?

Since this time I’ve seen the concept spread and evolve and become more widespread. One thing I’ve seen is the evolution of how people used the term. It was good to get Bex’s opinion on this and how it differs from her understanding and presentation of the concept.

It’s incredibly important that Occupational Therapists not only look at occupations that are health-promoting but also those that may not have such a positive impact. Only then are we able to fully gain an adequate understanding of the people we work with and deliver effective health services. If you are wanting to get a better understanding of the concept then definitely start with the website linked below.

The Dark Side of Occupation: a concept created and being developed by Dr Rebecca Twinley

Also check out some of these:

Twinley, R. (2017) Woman-to-woman rape and sexual assault, and its impact upon the occupation of work: A Learn at Work Webinar. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXGxvh96pnA

Twinley, R. (2017) ‘The Dark Side of Occupation’. In: Jacobs, K. and MacRae, N. (eds) Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competence. 3rd edn. Thorofare, NJ: SLACK.

Twinley, R. (2014) ‘Everyone is a moon’: The dark side of occupation. OT24Vx2014: A World of Health and Well Being. 3-4 November 2014. 24 hour Virtual exchange available at: http://www.ot4ot.com/ot24vx.html

Twinley, R. and Morris, K. (2014) Editorial: Are we achieving occupation-focussed practice? British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 77(6): 275

Twinley, R. (2013) The dark side of occupation: A concept for consideration. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 60(4): 301-303.

Twinley, R. (2013) Response to Re: The dark side of occupation: A concept for consideration. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 60(6): 459.

Twinley, R. (2013) ‘The dark side of occupation’ Occupational Science Seminar Series. 24 April 2013. Plymouth University: Plymouth

Twinley, R. and Addidle, G. (2012) Considering Violence: The Dark Side of Occupation. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75 (4): 202-204. DOI: 10.4276/030802212X13336366278257

Keep occupied