Group counseling is a form of therapy, which posits that people benefit from shared experiences. Usually, it's focused on a particular issue, like obsessive-compulsive disorder or anger management. While a therapist usually manages the group, contributions from other members are considered valuable since all in the group share similar issues.
One of the main principals behind group counseling is the idea that dealing with specific issues may cause isolation, and a feeling that one is alone in facing his or her problems. This form of counseling attempts to counteract isolation by assembling people with similar issues to enforce that difficulties are not singular to one person. Additionally, knowing other people with similar troubles can be comforting to individuals who may not have access in their own family and friends to people with the same problem.
Group counseling may be highly organized, with people doing specific activities together and then sharing the results. Alternately, it may be more freeform, where members share their current issues related to the group’s purpose. One person’s verbal contributions to a group might be discussed, validated, and provoke problem solving by other group members in a session. It might also be an entry into a discussion regarding a certain aspect of an illness or condition that is then primarily led by the therapist.