The Chief Counselor, or Ship's Counselor, or simply Counselor is the officer responsible the well-being, psychological health and morale of the crew onboard starships and starbases. The position is usually held by a senior Starfleet officer with training in psychology.
Duties & FunctionsEdit
The responsibility of a Counselor was to take care of the emotional well-being of a ship's crew and guests. Starfleet began assigning counselors to starships in the 2330s, after they realized that the pressures of extended space travel could result in psychological problems that would require professional care.
By the mid-24th century, starship and starbase crews included a counselor, who was responsible for the mental well-being of the crew and civilian staff. The position was considered vital enough that it warranted inclusion in the senior staff of the Federation flagship; in that instance at least, the ship's counselor also had a diplomatic role, advising the captain in first contact and other situations.
As with the Chief Medical Officer, 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.
At the captain's discretion, the ship's counselor may be allowed to wear something other than their normal Starfleet uniform while on duty.