Support Group Counseling, as implied by the name is a form of counseling involving multiple people with a single counselor. This is very similar to Support Group Therapy, and in some cases the terms can be used interchangeably. However there are a few differences between the two.
While Support Group Counseling involves multiple people, it is not always the case that all of the people participating are experiencing the problem of interest. In many cases the counseling revolves around an issue that is being expressed by one member of the group while the other participants play more of a supporting role. For example, if a child is having difficulty with a transition that is occurring within the family, the counseling might start with a focus on the child and draw connections to the other members of the family. The important thing to recognize here is that Support Group Counseling does not focus on any one individual as the seat of the problem. While it may have been one member of a group that is most directly having negative consequences of the issue, Support Group Counseling focuses on the dynamics of the group. Hence, if one member of the group or family has a problem it is reflecting a larger issue within the system of all of the individuals involved.
This is only one way in which Support Group Counseling is executed. The other and perhaps more common mode of Support Group Counseling is more of a experience that otherwise unassociated members of the group have in common. For example, a woman who falls victim to domestic violence may benefit greatly from a Support Group Counseling environment where they can learn from other women who are going through the same situation. This can be a very powerful part of the healing process.
An important feature of Support Group Counseling is the counselor him or herself. They help guide the group in a positive manner. They have the challenging role of making sure that the group grows and heals together in an organic manner while fostering a socially tolerant and open environment where all of the members can feel safe.