Our Editorial Team


Jessie L. Mannisto, Editor in Chief

Jessie has worn many professional hats, including that of leadership analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, where she wrote psychobiographic assessments of foreign leaders for US policymakers.  In 2011, she was the Google Policy Fellow at the American Library Association, where she analyzed digital technologies’ impact on the quality of our lives and our ability to think deeply.  She has also served as the Assistant to the Consul General of Japan in Detroit, as a United States Pavilion Guide at the 2005 World Expo in Japan, and as an English teacher in Japan through the JET Program.

Today, Jessie is self-employed as an editor, researcher, and analyst for private clients who she thinks are doing some good in the world.  This allows her the flexibility to run Third Factor, where she writes and edits stories about creative and free-thinking individuals trying to chart their unique paths through the world.  She is always eager to understand why people think what they do, even (or especially!) when she disagrees with them.

A proud native of Detroit (#LGRW), Jessie currently lives in the Washington, DC area.  She has a master’s degree in information policy and a graduate certificate in science & technology policy from the University of Michigan.  You can engage her on Twitter at @jlmannisto.

Alexis Obernauer, Spiritual Director, Content Strategist, and Columnist

Alexis Obernauer is a certified coach, seminarian, and strategic planning professional. She seeks to help high-potential individuals heal from trauma and cultural conditioning and instead pursue paths aligned with their authentic calling. As spiritual director for Third Factor, Alexis supports the magazine with strategy discernment and co-leads the forthcoming spiritual development community.

Ilana Grostern, Columnist and Content Strategist

Ilana Grostern is a certified professional coach who works with gifted adults who are stuck in their heads, working to bring them back in touch with their bodies and root themselves in the concrete world. She writes a regular column for Third Factor on this theme and also assists with our long term strategic development.

Ilana came to coaching—and to the theory of positive disintegration—after learning of her daughter’s profound giftedness, following her own monumental discovery of the role of giftedness in her own life. She has also founded and led a successful cloth diaper business, was Canada’s first Whole30 Coach. She is currently training with Intergifted in Switzerland to deepen her understanding of the complex mind, and with the Somatic School in London.

Ralph Rickenbach, Columnist and Member Leader

Ralph Rickenbach is a coach, pastor in exile, blogger, and iconoclast. His writings are around spiritual and personality development, personality assessments, and a new take on the biblical narrative. Ralph coaches and writes in English and German. He is the author of “The Unfiltered Thoughts of a Pastor in Exile: a toolbox to deconstruct your faith without losing it.”

In the past, Ralph was a software architect specializing in artificial intelligence, artificial life, and computational linguistics. As an abstract-intense person, he studied history, political sciences, math, computer sciences, and theology. As a true rainforest mind, he has no degree and does not care.

Today, he accompanies people on their journey to become self-authoring, self-transcendent human beings, using a bundle of tools including Spiral Dynamics and TPD.

Ralph lives in Switzerland. As a member leader here, he co-leads the forthcoming spiritual development community.

Margo Margan, Columnist and Member Leader

Margo Margan is an aspiring scriptwriter and board game designer who values hard work, honesty, and responsibility. Having grown up pressured to be “unique,” her positive disintegration led her to discover her authentic love for the standard and to explore the reasons why certain values become standards.

A proud ESTJ, Margo is happiest when leading events and meeting new people, but she also enjoys analyzing obscure fictional characters and taking standardized tests.  She leads two member groups at Third Factor: The Young Adults’ Group and The Dissenters: Maladjusted to Maladjustment.

Dr. Luis Manuel Martínez Domínguez, Lead Editor for Spanish Language

Luis Manuel Martínez Domínguez is a professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain, where he coordinates the research group Foundations of Education and Educational Social Responsibility (FERSE) and directs a line of research on sensitive education based on the theory of positive disintegration. He and his team seek to show that the children he works with — many of whom are socially disadvantaged — do not have disorders, but rather, a tendency to disintegrate; they do not need pills, but rather, sensitive education that helps them manage this tendency.

Luis Manuel is also the author of several books, including most recently, Educar la Inteligencia Sensible: Una guía para padres de hijos con alta sensibilidad (Educating Sensitive Intelligence: A Guide for Parents of Highly Sensitive Children), which takes Dabrowski’s theory of positive disintegration as one of its pillars. Some of his other works include Espacio libre de bullying (Free Space from Bullying), El arte de estudiar en casa (The Art of Studying at Home), Ser líder ante tus hijos (Be the Leader of Your Children), as well as over thirty other articles, books, and chapters in scientific texts.

Luis Manuel is also the president of the Spanish Association for Sensitive Education where he practices non-profit education with people in vulnerable situations. He has more than ten years’ experience as a counselor and teacher in Seville, Las Palmas, and Madrid. He considers imaginational overexcitability to be one of his particular strengths.

Dr. Raphaela Carrière, Special Advisor to the Magazine

Raphaela is a developmental psychologist, based in The Greater Geneva Area, in Switzerland, where she supports smart, sensitive, and intense adults and families in the expat community. Her primary therapeutic modality is the Internal Family Systems Model, a powerfully transformative, evidenced-based model of psychotherapy based on the assumption that all the different parts of our personality have valuable qualities and that our core self knows how to heal. She also provides couple counseling services as well as executive coaching. Additionally, Raphaela. is the President of the Board of SENG Europe, guiding the organization in identifying goals, establishing policy, and setting a course to achieving SENG’s mission of empowering families and communities to guide the gifted and talented.

Having worked primarily as a scientific researcher for the first part of her career, Raphaela received her PhD from the Department of Clinical and Developmental Psychology at the University of Groningen. She has professional certifications in Effective Intuition and Clinical Trauma, as well as certificates in Mindfulness Based Interventions for Children and Teens, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychological Assessment, Narrative Therapy, Shiatsu, Reiki, and Psycho-Sexual Couples Counseling. She is a graduate of the Bader-Pearson Developmental Model of Couple Counseling and has completed extensive formal training in the Internal Family Systems (IFS – Levels 1 and 2).

Raphaela grew up in a United Nations family and lived mostly in Asia as a child, though she was born in the Netherlands. She is the mother of three exceptionally gifted children. You can find her on the Web at