#OTalk 18th November 2014 – Occupational Alienation

Occupational Alienation

Date: 18/11/2014  Host: @geekyOT

Blog Post  –  Transcript

During my second year of university, I developed an interest in occupational risk factors – namely occupational disruption, occupational deprivation, occupational imbalance and occupational alienation (see the COT website for definitions). While I instinctively understood the meaning of the first three, it took me a while longer to ‘get’ the fourth. Two years post-qualifying, I am only now beginning to fully grasp the complexity of the concept of ‘occupational alienation’ and how valuable it can be in practice. Reading Wendy Bryant’s chapter in McKay et al. (2008) was a real ‘aha’ moment for me, and so I’m very pleased that she’s agreed to host this #OTalk. Here is an excerpt from Wendy’s pre-chat blog post:

So many people might be feeling alienated, occupationally or otherwise. Can naming the experience as an occupational one add anything helpful in health and social care practice? I would argue that it’s worth thinking about. For people who are bored, frustrated and demotivated, it suggests a way forward that focuses not on what they might want to do, but the way they might want to do it.

I’d highly recommend checking out the full text on her blog. Also, if you haven’t read the aforementioned chapter, I’d recommend that too!

As usual, the chat will take place on Twitter using the #OTalk hashtag at 8pm GMT. If you’re new to tweetchats, check out this guide from our #anzOTalk colleagues, and contact me (Clarissa; @geekyOT) if you need any extra help getting to grips with #OTalk.

Wendy’s twitter username is @DrWMB.


EDIT (13/12/14): Following on from the chat, Wendy has posted a revised definition of occupational alienation on her blog. Check it out! Here’s an excerpt:

Occupational alienation is indicated when a person is doing something they are not engaging with. This is indicated in lay terms such as going through the motions or her heart wasn’t in it. Repeatedly experiencing occupational alienation has adverse consequences for health, associated with prolonged exposure to the physiological and psychological stress response.



Bryant, W. (2008) in McKay, E., Craik, C., Lim, K.H. and Richards, G. (eds) Advancing Occupational Therapy in Mental Health Practice. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. pp. (to be completed when I’m reunited with my book 😉 )

Thank you to everyone who joined in the chat.

The Numbers

934,472 Impressions
584 Tweets
50 Participants

You can catch up with the transcript at this link, or download the PDF.

2 thoughts on “#OTalk 18th November 2014 – Occupational Alienation”

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