Bill O’Connell, EdD

I teach in the Integrated Care Training Program and serve as the Director of the Behavioral Health Support Specialist (BHSS) Clinical Training Program.  My responsibilities include oversight of curriculum development, practicum supervisor mentoring and legislative advocacy for the BHSS initiative.

My background includes Regional Director of Behavioral Health for Iora Primary Care, a national healthcare company; Primary Care Behavioral Health Consultant at Iora Primary Care, Central District and Shoreline; Department Chair and Associate Professor in Leadership and Professional Studies at Seattle University; Associate Professor of Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling at Xavier University in Ohio, and Assistant Clinical Director for one of the largest multi-service behavioral health organizations in Ohio, Talbert House Inc.

Between 2014-2017, I served as principal investigator for a philanthropic grant from the Robert Craves Foundation to expand access to school counseling services at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School in the Yesler Terrace neighborhood of Seattle. In addition, I engaged in community based research with Village Spirit Center for Community Change and Healing located in the Central District to produce a mental health needs assessment for residents.

My current scholarship focuses on best practices in teaching and training bachelor level intervention specialists for integrated primary care and behavioral health settings.  Previous peer reviewed publications focused on best practices in counselor preparation and ethical dilemmas in counselor practice.

I hold a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Cincinnati specializing in counselor education, supervision and behavioral medicine. In 2019, I completed a certification program with UMASS Medical School in Primary Care Behavioral Health.  In 2022, I completed a twelve-month course in Primary Care Behavioral Health Leadership through the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the State of Washington and a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado.  Additionally, I am a National Certified Counselor (NCC), and an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) through the National Board of Certified Counselors.


Doctor of Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2002
Master of Arts, Athenaeum of Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1991
Bachelor of Arts, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, 1986

Department Affiliations

Teaching Philosophy

I worked as a full-time clinician in addictions, mental health and private practice settings for ten years before I decided to pursue a doctorate.  This professional experience forever influenced the manner in which I conceptualize courses, develop learning objectives, and evaluate the impact of higher education on student self-efficacy in clinical settings.  The interplay between the acquisition of knowledge and the practical application of that knowledge in the workplace is critical to preparing students for real world settings.   In my teaching I emphasize the link between research, practice and training.  Courses, including assignments, need to adapt to emerging knowledge so that the students of today are prepared to improve upon the work of their predecessors.  For me, teaching is an investment in a better future.

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