About Visionary Coach Kelly Gerlingkelly-36-square-small-150x150

I have over three decades of experience as a coach.

I now focus my work with clients who want to go beyond individual and organizational success to make a huge positive impact on our promising and troubled world.

Having worked since 1978 with individuals, couples and families, I’ve used many models for bringing about healthy changes in these relationships. My early mentors and colleagues were Virginia Satir, one of the co-founders of the field of family therapy, Ramon Corrales, a family therapist and author in Kansas City, NLP co-founder Steve Andreas, and several other pioneers in helping to bring about change in relationships including Jay Haley, Cloe Madanes, Carl Whitaker.

Beginning in the 1980s, I began working with corporations and executives as a coach for individual executives, executive teams, and, in some cases, entire organizations.

My 1988 doctoral dissertation, titled Universals of Negotiation created a coherent, comprehensive, dynamic model of how to bring about agreement with people in conflict. The same set of skills and mental models enables me to detect and help resolve conflicts within my clients, enabling them to free up their inner capacities in significant ways by aligning their inner parts and functions in an optimum harmony.

I specialize in working with visionary leaders, entrepreneurs and concerned citizens who have been enormously successful individually and organizationally, yet remain frustrated and concerned with the state of the world in which we live, and its current trajectory. My practice of coaching for visionaries guides those who seek to make a huge difference in our world towards making large scale changes through a variety of strategies.

My mission as a coach is to help my clients dream huge dreams, to translate them into achievable strategic visions, and to develop the means and strategies to transform those visions into reality.

The majority of my work as a coach is with visionaries who seek to make a big difference in the world.

My work for my clients is supported by applying the ideas, insights and latest advances of cognitive science, psychology, NLP, social science, and other emerging fields involving processes for change.

I got my Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Resources from Arizona State University in 1976, and a Master of Arts degree in Human Relations and General Counseling from Governor’s State University in 1978. In 1988 I completed a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at American Commonwealth University in San Diego. During my doctoral work I studied with family therapists Ramon Corrales and Larry Ro-Trock; NLP co-founder John Grinder; and one of the co-founders of family therapy, Virginia Satir. I worked closely with them for many years. My 567-page doctoral dissertation is titled Universals of Negotiation.

I am co-author of the top-selling tape series and book NLP: The New Technology of Achievement (Nightingale-Conant, 1991 and William Morrow, 1994). I was a trainer for several NLP companies including NLP Comprehensive, starting in 1983, NLP of California in 1986, and Grinder, DeLozier and Associates starting in 1988. My deep knowledge of NLP skills enables me to have the kind of fine-grained, detailed understanding of thinking and communication NLP provides. In addition, my training with George Lakoff in cognitive linguistics, and my close association with Joe Brewer in the same field, provides additional understandings which I use to help my clients to shatter their limiting assumptions, amplify their visions for making a difference, and acquire the necessary resources and connections to bring their visions into reality.

I also contributed to a book on alternative education called Creating Learning Communities. I have published many articles about personal change, organizational change, learning, communication and healthy relationships.

More recently, I was certified as an Approved Mediator in Core and Domestic Mediation in the State of Kansas by the Kansas Supreme Court Office of Judicial Administration in 2006. This work on mediation helps me with my individual clients by sorting out and solving problems between their inner parts or sub-personalities. In 2009 I gain a certification in Collaborative Law.

In 2013, I gained a certificate for 125 hours of coaching with the Academy of Coaching and NLP (ACN) in the San Francisco Bay Area, a program which is approved by the renowned International Coaching Federation (ICF). Here is a copy of the certificate:


I live in the Seattle Area. My office is the historic Ballard District. Most of my coaching work is in person here in Seattle or where my clients live and work. I also do phone coaching sessions with clients here in the Northwest, and beyond, both nationally and internationally.

To reach me directly, call my cell phone at 206-618-2888