Mission and Foundation

Liesenfeld Research Institute was founded in 2017 by Dr. Kerstin Liesenfeld with a special focus on research for the development of the authentic self. Liesenfeld Research Institute is affiliated to TUFTS UNIVERSITY, School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Boston MA, USA.

Our mission is to foster, connect and draw current psychological and neuroscientific research and application in coaching, personality development and counseling closer together to utilize and implement profound knowledge in an effective, sustainable and competent way. We aim for manageability of psychological and neuroscientific research without the necessity of reducing its complexity.

Our goal is to contribute to the understanding how to accompany individuals and communities professionally with their personal growth processes and to support them in establishing an authentic and healthy self-concept. As we draw specific tangible and relevant questions for research out of current problems and experiences practitioners engage with, we hope to facilitate implementation of findings and solutions directly and more easily. Bringing research and practice closer together, our intention is to meet alignment and change processes at a new, higher, more intelligent – cognitive and emotional – holistic level of understanding.

Developed in Boston (USA) but with roots in Hamburg (GERMANY), Liesenfeld Research Institute considers itself a global institution which values and respects different views and standpoints. Our research questions serve the understanding and advancement of profound psychological and neuroscientific research in coaching, personality development and counseling settings.


Dr. Kerstin Liesenfeld

Prof. Dr. Olaf Dammann

Sabine Lebedinski

Jonas Tacke

Research Partner

Prof. Dr. Julius Kuhl

Prof. Dr. Nicola Baumann

Dr. Miguel Kazén

Prof. Dr. Michael Stark

Prof. Dr. Nicola Baumann

Prof. Dr. Nicola Baumann, Ph.D.

Personality, Motivation and Affect Regulation

University of Trier, Trier, Germany

Nicola Baumann, PhD, is a full professor at the University of Trier, Germany. She received her PhD in psychology from the University of Osnabruck, Germany (1998), and she has held research fellowships at the University of Rochester, New York (1999-2000), the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (2014-2015), and the University of Colorado, Boulder (2019). Baumann’s research on self-regulation, emotion regulation, and implicit motives is located at the intersection of personality, motivation, cognitive, and social psychology. Since 2005, she has (co-) authored more than 60 international scientific journal articles and book chapters, and edited a scholarly book. In addition to her scientific achievements, she has worked as an applied psychologist and nurtures the exchange between research and practice.

Prof. Dr. Olaf Dammann

Prof. Dr. Olaf Dammann

Director Scientific Research

Tufts University, Boston, USA

Olaf Dammann is trained in linguistics and informatics (University of Hamburg), medicine (University of Luebeck and Hamburg), epidemiology (Harvard), and philosophy (University of Johannesburg). He worked as a pediatrician until he started doing research full time in 1995. He is currently Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston. His main research topics are perinatal epidemiology with a focus on brain/retina damage in preterm newborns, and philosophy of science with a focus on causation and explanation. He has received research funding from the NIH, the European Union, and foundations. His bibliography includes more than 200 papers and the book Causation in Population Health Informatics and Data Science (Springer, 2019).

Prof. David Scheffer

Prof. Dr. David Scheffer

Professor für Wirtschaftspsychologie

Persönlichkeit & Organisationen

Was treibt einen Menschen an? Wie wirkt sich Persönlichkeit auf Wirtschaft aus? Mit diesen Fragen setzt sich David Scheffer in Theorie und Praxis intensiv auseinander – etwa in Bezug auf Empowerment, Resilienz oder Führung. Scheffer ist Professor für Wirtschaftspsychologie an der Hamburger Hochschule Nordakademie und Studiengangsleiter an der dortigen Graduate School. Er hat federführend etablierte Messmethoden für Persönlichkeitsunterschiede entwickelt und international publiziert. Welche Rolle Persönlichkeit und Diversität in Unternehmen für die Personal- und Organisationsentwicklung spielen, hat Scheffer in zahlreichen Projekten erprobt.

Dr. Miguel Kazén

individual differences in self-regulation, volitional facilitation and inhibition, implicit affect, hypomnesia as well as stress and health.

University of Osnabruck, Osnabruck, Germany

Miguel Kazén was born in Mexico City and has a longstanding passion in working in the field of psychology, both in research and teaching. He studied psychology at Pennsylvania State University, USA, and graduated (Ph.D.) in 1983. After he had worked as a professor at UNAM for 3 years, he came to Germany in the end of 1986, to work as a research assistant with Prof. Julius Kuhl at the University of Osnabruck, and stayed there for about 30 years. Miguel Kazén published more than 60 research papers in the thematic field of personality, self-regulation, motivation and memory, including a personality test (PSSI, Kuhl & Kazén, 2009).

Prof. Dr. Julius Kuhl

Personality, Volition, Motivation and Self-Regulation

University of Osnabruck, Osnabruck, Germany

Professor Dr. Julius Kuhl (born July 27th, 1947) held the chair in differential psychology and personality research at the University of Osnabruck from 1986 until 2015. Furthermore, he led the research centre for the advancement of giftedness at the “Niedersächsischen Institut für frühkindliche Bildung und Entwicklung (nifbe)” [Institute for Early Childhood Education and Development in Lower Saxony] from 2008-2016. Stages in his scientific career were working as a research assistant of Heinz Heckhausen in Bochum (1978-1982) and as head of the developmental psychology team at the Max-Planck-Institute for psychological research in Munich (1982-1986): Also, he completed several research stays in the United States (1976-1978 Michigan, 1984-85 Stanford) and Mexico (1984, 1986). His research focus is in field of self- and affect regulation. This research built the foundation for a new personality theory, which integrates the advancements in motivation, development, cognition and neuro-psychology (PSI-Theory). Based on this work a new diagnostics method for personal competencies was developed, which identifies existing abilities and possible development potentials in a comprehensive analysis (EOS ANALYSIS 360°). In the year 2012, Prof. Kuhl received the award for his life`s work from the German Psychological Association.

Sabine Lebedinski

Research Assistant

MSH Medical School Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany / Liesenfeld Research Institute, Boston, USA

Sabine Lebedinski is an undergraduate student who has been a part of Liesenfeld Research Institute since 2018. Starting as a research intern with insights in various topics, she now works as a research assistant. During her tasks she developed a great interest in self-regulation and its connections to well-being which was also her focus in her bachelor thesis under the direction of Kerstin Liesenfeld in 2019.

Sabine Lebedinski will continue working for Liesenfeld Research Institute to advance research in authenticity, self-development and well -being. To do so, she regularly faces new challenges to develop her research abilities. Currently, she is expanding her horizons in research techniques at University of Padova under Patrizo Tressoldi.

Dr. phil. Kerstin Liesenfeld

Founder and CEO

Liesenfeld Research Institute, Boston, USA

Kerstin Liesenfeld has longstanding experience in theory and practice concerning authentic self-development, healthy self-leadership, transformational change and leadership excellence. She developed her own brain-functional coaching tool COLOUREM® to support her clients exploiting their own potentials and generating new scopes of actions. The personality psychologist (Ph.D.) and economist conducted her PhD Thesis (Authentic Self-Development as a function of emotional regulation and childhood stress) under the direction of Prof. Julius Kuhl (Osnabrueck University) and Prof Kurt W. Fischer (Harvard University).

Having supported a great number of clients and managed her own practice (Excellence in Mind – Liesenfeld Executive Coaching) for two decades, she founded Liesenfeld Research Institute in 2017 with the desire to advance research in authentic self-development and make the complexity of psychological and neuroscientific research and knowledge better available for practitioners who work with individuals and communities. Integrating the knowledge Kerstin Liesenfeld has gained over the years, she aims to build a place for growth, excellence and holistic understanding.

Prof. Dr. Michael Sadre-Chirazi-Stark

Chronic Fatigue and Stressmanagement

Prof. Stark Institute, Hamburg, Germany


Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin

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