Counseling Officer Training

Rising to prominence during the 24th Century, the Counselor supports the mental well-being of the crew and civilian staff aboard a starship or starbase. While uncommon on vessels below a Class 3 rating, the ship's counselor has the power to relieve other officers and crewmembers of duty if he or she feels that their patient is suffering from a condition that may hinder their ability to perform their duties effectively. Commonly the Counselor also had a diplomatic role, advising the Captain in first contact and other situations.


The primary responsibility of a counselor is to provide counseling to the ship or station’s crew. A Counselor will try to help the patient through their problems and should always be looking for t reason that a person is in need of the session itself. Another priority of the Counselor's in the morale of the crew and he or she will work closely with the Captain and First Officer to ensure crew needs are being met. Should a conflict erupt between two crewmembers the Counselor may be called upon to help resolve it.

The Counselor provides key advice to the Captain and Executive Officer during missions and frequently serves on the Bridge. During a conflict or a first contact, the counselor is called upon to assist with the situation due to his or her ability to analyze people and their motives. The Counselor will also work with the Captain and First Officer to evaluate crew status and to establish performance ability.

An Introduction to Psychology

When working with people there is almost always a central component that is driving the action. It is up to the Counselor to examine this underlying issue and help the patient to overcome it. The most common strategy to accomplish this is to start with the current issue and work backward. This is always a matter of asking questions and listening to the answers.

The Counselor asks questions looking for the facts, but also the hidden meaning behind them. Who, what, when, where, how, but rarely – if ever – why are the easiest way for the Counselor to gather information. Why is a question to be avoided as it is frequently clouded. A Counselor works through the issues to get to the root cause; finding out what the patient thinks and what the patient feels. Always allow, and encourage the patient to fully express what they think and how they feel. Sometimes though resistance will occur; however, this isn't to be considered a roadblock because it could lead to avenues not expected. The most important thing that the Counselor does is listen to what the patient says and observing what the patient does. Body language can be a key clue to what the patient is truly feeling.

Always remember though that the patient is responsible for the outcome and his or her own actions. The Counselor should never make the choice on their client's behalf.

Emotional Responses Are Key

What exactly are the basic emotions that a Counselor could expect to anticipate?

Pleasant emotions
These are the emotions that make people happy. These are emotions such as Worth/Self-acceptance, Joy, Peace, Pleasure, and most importantly Love.
Unpleasant emotions
These are the emotions that make people feel bad. They can be emotions like Sadness, Hopelessness/Despair, Helplessness, Loneliness/Rejection, Worthlessness, Guilt/Shame, Anger, Jealousy/Envy.
Defensive emotions
Emotions that are defensive are used to hide other feelings from light. Normally these are emotions such as hatred which can mask any of the above unpleasant emotions.

A Final Thought

Playing a Counselor is one of the most challenging roles a player can take, but it can be one of the most rewarding in a game. A player will have an opportunity to be highly involved with the players of the game and get to make important and vital contributions to a story. They also get to help the crew to be at their very best.

They are one of the most important components of a crew.


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Please note: This page is for educational purposes only for usage within the 16th Fleet Role Playing Game. It does not bestow upon the reader the actual title of Counselor or the responsibilities therein.

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