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PROFILE: UC Professor Wins Praise From Peers Statewide

Counseling Professor F. Robert Wilson will be honored as Counselor of the Year by a state organization of counseling professionals.

Date: 10/25/2004 8:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Andrew Higley
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F. Robert Wilson

University of Cincinnati Counseling Professor F. Robert Wilson is the 2004 recipient of the Susan J. Sears Counselor of the Year Award from the Ohio Counseling Association (OCA). The annual award honors professionals who have “demonstrated exceptional service as a practitioner through the application of the OCA goals.” Wilson, a resident of West Chester, Ohio, will be honored Thursday, Nov. 4, at the All-Ohio Counselors Conference in Columbus.

An affiliate of the American Counseling Association, the 1,000-member OCA works to promote and advance the counseling profession. Wilson is an elected member of the American Counseling Association’s Governing Council.

At the University of Cincinnati, Wilson is coordinator of the master’s degree program in mental health counseling, Division of Human Services, in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services. In addition to those duties and his teaching responsibilities in the masters, certificate and doctoral programs, Wilson is a nationally certified counselor, an approved clinical counselor and a Fellow of the Association for Specialists in Group Work.

Wilson dedicates his professional service to improving the health of the Greater Cincinnati community – a goal outlined in the UC|21 strategic plan. “For the past five years, Bob has provided pro bono counseling services and supervision at the Health Resource Center in Over-the-Rhine, where he has distinguished himself in assessment, clinical practice and research of indigent and homeless populations experiencing psychological disturbance,” says colleague Robert Conyne, director of the UC Counseling Program.

Wilson says that even when the poor and the mentally ill reach out for help, they can become even more discouraged as they get lost in a health care bureaucracy. The Health Resource Center in Over-the-Rhine provides free treatment for clients who cannot access services from other agencies.

“This is a segment of society that is used to being discouraged, so they give up,” Wilson says. “Instead of deserving the worst treatment, they need the very best. When we treat our social problems with half-measures, the treatments will not work, and it doesn’t help our society to treat people in a way that makes them more cynical.” Wilson adds that he feels honored to practice with “an incredible staff of very talented people” at the Health Resource Center.

F. Robert Wilson

Wilson joined the award-winning UC Counseling Program in 1978. His research and clinical interests focus on assessment, mental health services and group work. Conyne adds that Wilson has also published and presented extensively, most recently in a book written by UC faculty about ecological counseling – a counseling approach that focuses on the client’s socioeconomic background, family history and culture. The book, Ecological Counseling: An Innovative Approach to Conceptualizing Person-Environment Interaction, recently generated national attention in a review in the October 2004 issue of “Counseling Today,” a publication of the American Counseling Association.

Wilson adds that the UC Counseling Program – dedicated to training counselors to provide ecologically grounded service for traditionally underserved people – was nationally honored with the Robert Frank Outstanding Program Award in 2001 by the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.




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