Counselor

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Deanna Troi, Ship's Counselor for the USS Enterprise

Counselor is an official post on large Federation starships in the 24th century.

Nature of the Post

Deanna Troi held the post of Counselor on the Enterprise-D. Her primary duty was apparently to advise the Captain on matters of crew morale and use her psychology skills to assist in any negotiations that occurred. As a half-Betazoid, her empathic abilities gave her an advantage in such negotiations, but not all Starfleet Counselors have telepathic abilities.

Deanna also acted as a regular psychological counselor, seeing various members of the ship's crew by appointment to discuss issues affecting their lives and performance. This aspect of the job is presumably common to all Starfleet counselors.

Criticism

Why Starfleet made a Counselor a bridge crew member on Federation starships is something of a mystery; Counselor Troi started the job without qualifications for any bridge position (navigation, ops, tactical, etc.); her training in psychology was her only job skill. Critics of TNG have occasionally wondered if the Counselor on a Federation starship is a kind of "political officer" tasked with monitoring the activities of the command staff and reporting them back to Starfleet headquarters.

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