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Based on vignettes from clinical cases, supervision and Balint groups this article presents a neo-phenomenological perspective on the lived experience of healthcare professionals in interactions with patients and relatives. Specifically, the familiar phenomenon of “something in the air” between two persons will be analyzed.
Constellations and situations are presented as fundamental and generic (ontological) categories that can be differentiated to understand the details and the whole (die Gestalt) of an interaction.
The term atmosphere is introduced to investigate the material carrier of something that “colors the air” between healthcare provider and patient.
The neo-phenomenological taxonomy of the lived body (der Leib) is used to describe the recipient structure of atmospheric mood.
Finally, the potential of these concepts for a more comprehensive diagnosis and for therapeutic use in general practice will be elucidated.