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A counselor helps maintain the mental well-being of officers, crewmembers and others aboard a Starfleet starship or starbase. Starfleet requires the counselor be a senior officer and usually a member of the senior staff.
By the 24th century, this grew to typically include a counselor amongst starship and starbase crews.
- Should ensure all crew aboard a starship or starbase maintain adequate mental health; (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", et al) and
- Could advise the commanding officer and other senior officers in many situations, such as first contact, cultural awareness and hostile encounter experiences; (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "The Big Goodbye", et al)
- Could relieve any officer or crewmember of duty where sufficient evidence exists that person is unable to perform their duties due to a mental condition. (Star Trek: The Cantabrian Expeditions: "Isolation")
Aboard some ships and bases, the commanding officer could allow the counselor to wear an alternate uniform other than the Starfleet uniform. For example, USS Enterprise-D counselor Deanna Troi was allowed to wear several variants under Captain Jean-Luc Picard's command; however, under Captain Edward Jellico's command, she was required to wear a Starfleet uniform. (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part I"). Captains John Greene, Alexandra de Groot, and Noah Wrightson required counselor Daniel Radke wear Starfleet dress uniform during the appropriate ceremonies, and, typically, aboard the USS Prospect-A and USS Cantabrian, Radke wore a standard uniform when on duty. (Star Trek: The Prospect Chronicles; Star Trek: Shabonee; Star Trek: The Cantabrian Expeditions)
- Early drafts of the Next Generation episode "Relics" gave background into the counselor's role. Deanna Troi elaborated that Starfleet added counselors in the 2330s as extended space travel could result in mental or psychological conditions arising in the crew.
Romulans often reserved counselors to starships capable of deep-space operation. Unlike Klingons, who wouldn't place on of their own as a counselor, the Romulans made counselors by themselves, although they ranked somewhat lower than doctors in Romulan society. In the Romulan Guard, as well as the Lyran Starfleet many counselors doubled as flight controllers, albeit on the less desirable shifts. (RIS Bouteina)
Lyrans didn't trust their own kind for counseling; subject species of the Lyrans, such as Malachorians, were often called upon to perform medical and psychological duties. Nonetheless, some counselors could rise to command level, or even flag officer status in an emergency. (RIS Bouteina: "No Child Left Untested", "The Measure of a Romulan", Star Trek: The Stoneship Files)
- Tahna Malyik
- USS Prometheus (2379-xxxx)
- Moasi al Mari
- Sarah Higgins
- Daniel Radke
- Brianna Reiss
- Tara Whitten