Usually at group when someone has an issue to work with someone who is not present (eg their mother) on I ask for a volunteer to role play the other person so that the first person has someone to express their feelings towards. The volunteer doesn't have to say anything - just sit there, make eye contact and listen.

Last night a new group member said he thought this practice was unhealth for the receiver. Any thoughts on this?

What I came up with at the time is that when I receive for someone else that I notice that their emotions no matter how hot are on their site of the fence and that if I react emotionally it is due to my triggers. It has also helped me get over my fear of being with anger from others because I know if I breath and stay with them it will pass.

On the giver side I think it helps them really imagine that they are talking with their mother or who ever they are role playing. Of course the usual idea is that after group they will go to the real person and express themselves too!