Counselor Simming Guide

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Counselors are an integral part of any duty postings command staff. Whether it be ship, starbase, or planetary embassies, the Counselors are there to see to the well being of the crew/staff.

At first glance this position looks like a mountain of a task in the sim. There is no clear role for your character, or it seems there is nothing for your character to do. And other characters in the sim will maybe avoid you like the plague, no matter how much they may need the Counselor!

Nonetheless, counseling is a highly rewarding role that will provide countless opportunities to include your character into the current plot, whatever that may be.

The counselor's duty

The Counselor has countless duties to his/her crew:

The first among these duties is the mental health of everyone stationed to the posting, from the Captains and Admiralty to the Ensigns. The life of a Starfleet officer is busy, loaded with time constraints, usually stressful, and often dangerous. Sometimes the Counselor can help a crewman with one conversation. Often a little encouragement is all that is needed, or maybe it is a shoulder to cry on. These are the small fires for which the Counselor must always be on the lookout. Other times the problems are larger, this is when you pull a crewman in for a counseling session. These crew interactions provide opportunities that are wonderful to facilitate the development of your fellow crew members characters.

Beyond the office, a counselor's understanding of psychology, and conflict, can be of great use on the bridge or in the conference room during negotiations or tense moments. Counselors are diplomatic advisor, can gather intel about cultures, behavior, means of communications and more of encountered species. In addition they are also mediators and diffuse tensions or hostile situations. They are the Captain's Advocate and consultant and political advisor. Possibilities are wide spread.

Speak with your Commanding Officer about ways in which you can help during contact situations between your vessel and others. Like Deanna Troi, the Captain may find you a valuable sounding-board for their ideas.

Approaching other characters

Approaching another character for counseling can be one of the most difficult parts of simming the Counselor. While talking to someone about job performance is a simple matter, talking with a character about their personal life requires a more subtle approach. Often just approaching a character about their troubled relationship, destructive behavior, etc, will only cause them to avoid the evil head shrinker. The most time tested tactic to approaching a character for counseling is to simply stop by and say hello. A little coaxing can then take a simple conversation to openings for the larger problem.

Sittings, meetings and conversations with your patients can happen everywhere. You do not have to wait until someone comes into your office, be pro-active and visit them. In their quarters, their departments, in bars, make spontaneous efforts to check on people. Not everything needs to be a proper sitting.

Contacting the characters player out of character is an essential tool for the Counselor. Out of character interaction with your fellow players is essential to success as a counselor. Coordinating with the other players allows your to find the right approach to conversation and counseling sessions. The character’s player will be able to tell you the best angle to use for them to open up. The counselor also often acts as a conduit for character development giving players a good chance to joint post. It is important to remember though not everyone wants to open up to the Counselor. When this happens it is best to remember you tried.

The counseling session

The counseling session is the primary reason for the Counselor to be serving on ship, or base. Unlike most fleet tasks it can be done almost anywhere. You may counsel the Captain in his ready room. A Lt. may need counseling in their quarters, or the chief medical officer may have to be counseled in sickbay’s office. The Counselor is always on duty and will talk to anyone, anywhere.

Once you have someone willing to talk it is time for you to listen. Keep them talking with pointed questions to help them get to the root of their problem. This is where the counselor does her most to help, and often everyone will learn something new about the character in question. Finally when the root of the problem is found the character and the Counselor can discuss ways to make improvements. Sometimes one of these session may be enough to resolve the problem.

A counselor can sometimes help with a single meeting if only encouragement or an open ear is needed. But deeper problems a Counselor cannot just fix in one sitting. That would be a little unrealistic and does not make for a good plot either. Talk with the player of your "patient" if they would like to have a long term plot or a rather short one, research the problem the character has and depending on what your co-player wishes do the head-on approach or take the scenic route. It gives your co-player room for character building and gives you the opportunity to show what you can do.

Every character is different, hence one therapy that may work on someone might not work on the next person. Experiment and try out things, don't rush and take the time it needs. Work with what you are given, check their biographies to see if there is anything you can work with and approach the players OOCly if you are not sure (as said OOC contact with your co-player is vital). Maybe they want to keep it for themselves, maybe nobody but them would know about it. But you might also be lucky that you can find the details ICly in the file, which are all things that you can inquire the player about.

Also it may help research certain psychological problems to find interesting hints of what your crew could go through or ways to treat your patients. It can also give you a feel for the whole job.

Labor of love

Simming a counselor can be a demanding role. It also will often be one of the most rewarding roles to sim. The Counselor will find many opportunities to make friends both in character and out. The versatility of the Counselor will provide openings for you in almost any plot. Enjoy playing your Counselor and never forget to be “pushy with a smile” as our own Lt. Commander Cura Assanti-Stone once said.

You can also talk to your Command Officer and ask them if allowing your character to training as a backup Medical, Helm, Com, or Operations officer would be allowed.

Credits


Mission Specialist Helm/Com/Ops Engineer Science Officer Medical Officer Nurse
Intelligence Officer Security Officer Tactical Officer Marine Counselor Civilian
Duty Posts