Therapists on the bridge

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by NewHeavensNewEarth, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Captain Captain

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    Re-watching various Trek series recently, I can't help noticing now how odd it is that the ship's therapist for the Enterprise-D is always there on the bridge with her own seat, always privy to top-level info, always there in the heat of the battle (unless the plot needs her to be elsewhere).

    DS9 had at least 1 therapist, but he's never hanging around Ops (or seemingly anywhere else really).

    Neelix was at least considered the morale officer aboard Voyager, but he was rarely on the bridge at all. Of all ships, you would think that Voyager would want to have a trained counselor around (or have a person get trained to be one) to help the crew deal with the emotional stress of being separated from loved ones, being stranded, helping Maquis & SF to get along, etc. They probably could've come up with an ECH (Emergency Counselor Hologram) if they really wanted to.

    I guess in re-watching TNG, it seems odd that of all people, the therapist would get that spot next to the captain. I like Troi, but it just seems like a strange setup. A captain receives counsel, of course, but that's from the officers he/she needs it from. Janeway did alright without Neelix next to her all the time, Sisko and everybody else did alright, too. If it was just for Troi's empathic abilities, maybe that would count for an explanation, but it would be a shallow one. Troi seemed to be an exception in several ways, and it would be nice if she wasn't just being used for her Betazoid side, but perhaps that's what it comes down to.
     
  2. trekshark

    trekshark Commander Red Shirt

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    Having the counselor/therapist on the bridge doesn't make sense
    but having an empathic person that can sometimes tell if the alien captain is lying or about to attack makes sense
    I doubt other ships had their counselor on the bridge if they weren't betazoid or similar
     
  3. 1001001

    1001001 Boorish Jackass Moderator

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    I think having a psychologist on the bridge is a brilliant idea. Every ship should have one.

    And they should be highly respected too.
     
  4. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Although when Ezri arrived she did have a station on the Defiant bridge. Though she actually had a job to do as opposed to saying the obviously shifty alien on the viewscreen is hiding something or that she can sense hostility from the aggressive alien commander who just issued a threat.
     
  5. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Captain Captain

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    Would any Betazoid do, regardless of position? Undoubtedly, not all Betazoids were counselors. One might be a lowly ensign in engineering, for example.

    I think the ship's therapist should be highly respected as well, but not necessarily having the same tactical info of officers who need a certain clearance level. Modern-day ships do just fine without having a psychiatrist on the bridge all the time analyzing everyone.
     
  6. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just as Worf's role on the bridge wasn't primarily security chief, as much as it was tactical control, Deanna's primary role on the bridge wasn't as a therapist. It was as an advisor to the command officers, hence why she is called a counselor, to counsel them on how to proceed with people. She has insights into psyche & behavior that can be useful in cultural interactions, & she's got psychic talents to boot. Frankly, had it not been for Picard being the lead character, & doing a lot himself, she ought to have been much more present as a cultural attaché imho. Worf is ideally the combat advisor. Data is the science advisor, Riker is the command advisor, & Troi is the relations advisor. Makes sense to me. Kirk should've had it so good
     
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  7. 1001001

    1001001 Boorish Jackass Moderator

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    They would do much better with a shrink advising them, having full tactical knowledge, participation, and commensurate authority.

    They should also have the biggest office, the best quarters, and free reign over the holodeck schedule.
     
  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I've always felt that having a counselor on the bridge was more of a Picard thing--he wanted Troi there. On other ships, that third chair in the "command well" might be filled by the second officer, the senior chief, or a diplomatic specialist. On some ships, there might not even have been a third chair at all, IMO.
     
  9. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Captain Captain

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    Is this a job for you? ;)
     
  10. 1001001

    1001001 Boorish Jackass Moderator

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    Me being a psychologist is completely unrelated...
     
  11. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, a common misconception is that the third chair isn't really a "counselor's chair" but rather a mission specialist's chair. Deanna just sat there so often because there usually wasn't a mission specialist present, but note she always vacates it when there is one. Shelby sat there in TBOBW1, Gul Macet in The Wounded, Admiral Pressman in The Pegasus for example.
     
  12. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I liked Troi on the bridge. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I liked the weird futurism of it.

    I like to think of her in-part Asimov-ian “psychohistorian” (from his Foundation trilogy), practicing an advanced futuristic science that isn’t around yet.
     
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  13. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Captain Captain

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    Might need a 2nd opinion on that! :lol:
     
  14. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Troi being on the bridge makes sense, because she's like the Captain's advisor, and she's psychic, and helps in negotiations. As the series wore on, she became more of a crew therapist, but maybe she had two jobs all along.

    Ezri on the defiant bridge doesn't make a lot of sense to me, even with the symbiont, because Ezri wasn't trained to be joined, and her job was strictly a therapist, but Sisko liked his Motley crew.

    "Garek? Your station's over there.
    Bashir? Sure! sit here and monitor stuff. You can tell the audience when we have casualties.
    O'Brien? You can pilot, right? take a seat.
    Quark? Glad you could join us today. You may stand.
    Ezri? I just don't feel comfortable in this captain's chair unless I can occasionally turn my head and say 'Thanks...old man,' so sit down and press some buttons. Chief! it's your turn for ancient earth war poetry today. Worf, you can sing tomorrow"

    "Where's Nog. He's late!"
     
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  15. tafkats

    tafkats Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I assume Troi's value on the bridge isn't just because she's a Betazoid, and also isn't just because she's a trained psychologist, but rather the combination of the two, plus her Starfleet training. (I assume a ship's counselor could be a civilian specialist.)

    The bridge may have been built that way with the intention that the captain could have whoever he/she wanted occupying those two chairs. Picard likes having Troi there because he values her education, experience and empathic abilities, but there probably isn't a Starfleet guideline that says "the ship's counselor shall be a bridge officer and sit next to the captain." Another Galaxy-class captain might want the head of whatever science division was most relevant to the mission at hand, or the chief of security (freeing them from direct operational responsibilities by having someone else man tactical), or ... anybody, really.
     
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  16. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    24th-century people have multiple areas of expertise. And that's okay.

    Kor
     
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  17. Paul755

    Paul755 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I was never a real big fan of the 3 chairs to begin with. Should have just been Picard’s command chair.

    Have Riker or Troi drive the ship like how Spock was the science officer and xo and have the other stand next to Picard (ala Dr. McCoy) when necessary.
     
  18. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My take -- and it's a theory I've had since TNG was originally on air -- is that the reason the counsellor is up there front and center on the bridge was because of the number of times 23rd century Captains (including, but not limited to, Kirk himself) often went a little bonkers under the pressures of command. Somebody at Starfleet command therefore rubber stamped the idea of a counsellor being there to monitor the skipper's mental condition at important times, and then confer with the CMO on which further action may be required. Indeed, Troi even does this on occasion on screen, pulling the captain aside to confer with him privately when Picard appears to be under stress. It seems like a good precaution after all the likes of Garth, Decker, Kirk, Ron Tracey, etc etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  19. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One TNG writer -- I think it was Herbert Wright, IIRC -- said the thing that would date the show the most was that the therapist was considered important enough to have one of the main three chairs on the bridge. He was damn right.
     
  20. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Deanna must have come with some very high qualifications and recommendations. I mean if you want to exploit the Betazoid gift for those kind of functions, why not go with a full telepath? Full telepathy would be immensely more useful ("he's planning to meet with an operative of the Romulans on the second moon of Eminiar 4 in 7 days to sell them our current troop dispositions, Captain") than just empathy ("I think he is holding back something, Captain").

    So because her empathic gifts aren't all that, she must really excel in other areas of her job.
     
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