Psychology Tomorrow! My Character Hates Counsellors

Good afternoon. You’re listening to ‘Psychology Tomorrow!’ on Federation Public Subspace Radio 2. Psychology Tomorrow is a look at issues, topics, and advice related to the all things Counselling in Starfleet. Here’s your host, Ship’s Counsellor Denji Ryan.

Hello everyone! Today we examine a question asked by counsellor turned science officer, Lt.(JG) Sal Taybrim of the USS Excalibur-A. The question in its simplest form is this: Why do officers hate counsellors? Taybrim pointed out that half of the officers aboard the ship he was serving on had outright told him that they don’t like counsellors. I too have experienced similar responses in my career.

This question sparked quite the fervent conversation in the Counselling Duty Post area of the forums. There were a variety of answers including my character is “naturally shy, and intensely private, and doesn’t like to expose her vulnerabilities”, “It is not a dislike of the counsellor, more a dislike with being center of attention for things that bother her”, and perhaps most compelling (and honest which was appreciated) “For what its worth, I am one of those players who enjoys ‘broken’ characters, but part of that is not wanting the broken character to be fixed”.

So why is this a problem anyways? First and foremost is a recurring theme throughout the discussion pointing to a higher than average turnover rate among counsellors. Trying to sim a role that people are reluctant to write with or outright acknowledge they dislike is a sure fire way to discourage players from continuing to play these types of positions. The underlying issue is that there is an assumption that a character who hates counsellors will not interact with them. The player won’t write with the poor guy playing the counsellor. However, does this really have to be the case?

I love what Kaedyn Zehn had to say. He was able to eloquently sum up the ‘gist’ of my opinion and although he recently took a LOA, Lt. Cmdr Kaedyn Zehn gets this month’s ‘Psychology Tomorrow Quote of the Month:

With regards to OOC, I often think that the gold rule of simming should be the same as improv: “Yes, and…”.  In other words, you don’t deliberately block another player but try to work with what they give you.  I think this a great way of playing for, and with, everyone but is especially key here.  By immediately saying “No, I don’t like counsellors” you are blocking the person simming a counsellor rather than playing along with them and it stops them being able to contribute much.  By taking on a “yes, and…” approach you can have your character agree to whatever they are comfortable with, perhaps an informal chat rather than an official counselling session, and not prevent another player from contributing. – Kaedyn Zehn

Got something to say? Want to see what others are saying? Check out the discussion “My Character Hates Counsellors”, started by Sal Taybrim, for yourself here.

About brayden.jorey

Brayden Jorey is currently at the Embassy on Duronis II and USS Thor as a Special Operations Officer. He is a member of the fleet's Training Team, a member of Veteran Affairs and the facilitator for the Featured Bio Contest Team.
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