Psychology Primer: Preparation
The last part of this tutorial will cover the importance of preparing yourself to serve aboard your vessel as the counselor.
First and foremost you need to review the bios of everyone serving aboard your vessel, both PCs and NPCs. Fortunately, SB118 has an excellent practice of posting the bios for everyone in the fleet. Study them closely, because you can assume that any major life experiences that are recounted within would be on file in your office for you to review. These provide you with clues as to how to approach certain characters and provide hints as to where certain behaviors are stemming from that you need to keep an eye on.
Watch for signs of tension between characters, either positive or negative. While some COs are more laisez-faire with regards to allowing tension between characters, others are more strict in what they allow so be careful when addressing confrontations. Of course it's your duty to bring your observations to the First Officer concerning any potential confrontations between characters due to those confrontations negatively impacting the current mission with regards to the morale of the other officers, and the distraction it provides which can be deadly if left unchecked.
Ethnobiology and Culture
Lastly, do some research on the character’s ethnobiology and culture. I am not going to begin to try to present a “character study” for each and every race and culture in Star Trek in this tutorial. You should utilize the numerous Trek resources on the net, books such as the Star Trek Encyclopedia, and SB118's Intelligent Lifeform Index to help you understand the mindset common to most members of a given character’s race.