Visual Coaching Skills & Certification

2017 Cohort In Progress. 2018 Cohort Begins April 3rd, 2018.

visual-coach-cert-banner2016-notitle (1)

For Coaches, Counselors, Therapists and Other Process Professionals Who Work with Individuals, Partners and Small Groups. Includes 30 Visual Maps!

Add the power of Visual Coaching to your own practice! The results: greater clarity, deeper transformations, more satisfied clients, increased reputation and enhanced income – and the joy of doing meaningful work you love!

April 3 – June 19 (no classes: April 24 and June 5) I’m hosting the next Visual Coach Certification cohort … so this powerful way of working can make an even BIGGER impact in the world, through dedicated Process Professionals like YOU!


Visual Coach Certification is a comprehensive experience. There is plenty to explain so you can make an informed decision about applying. Scroll below for a thorough info page. To quickly access specific information, use these QUICK LINKS:


History of Visual Coaching & Certification
Explanation of SHIFT-IT System & Bonus Maps
Program Outcomes
What’s Included
Two Pre-Requisites
Training Schedule
Two Brands: Choose What Works Best for You
Frequently Asked Questions
Fee, Payment Plans & Registration
More Testimonials


I’ve been in the Visual Process Field since 1996, after completing a Masters Degree in Organizational Development from The California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. My day job back then was traveling the globe as a Visual Practitioner for various kinds of corporate, governmental and not-for-profit events.

visual-expansionI began as a “Graphic Recorder” – a visual scribe who assists leaders, consultants, facilitators and trainers. My first mentor was David Sibbet of The Grove Consultants International whom I worked with for several years. Eventually I formed my own practice and evolved into being a full on “Graphic Facilitator” – process design and lead facilitation. My specialty is Strategic Planning, Visioning, Scenarios, Team Building and Conflict Resolution.

Back then Coaching was just emerging as a distinct role onto itself and I was fortunate to be at the nexus point of this new field — taking training with The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) in 2000. It was then that I began experimenting with combining coaching with ‘visuals’. I also trained in Alchemical Hypnotherapy and became heavily immersed in Appreciative Inquiry, Law of Attraction and Shamanic practices.

Visual CoachingWhile I continued to work with corporate clients, on the side I built a thriving Visual Coaching practice and eventually created my signature SHIFT-IT Visual Coaching System, with its foundation of Visual Maps.

As my Visual Coaching work gained attention (due to my successful use of international internet marketing methods), other Process Professionals from across the globe became very interested in what i was doing and asked if they could use my methods too. Since 2009 I have been doing exactly that — mentoring and certifying other coaches, therapists, counselors and other specialists to work visually with their own clientele.


Click Images for Larger View

Hannah Sanford Life Map

Life Map Courtesy of Hannah Sanford

Essential Extracts Jo Hobson

Essential Extracts Courtesy of Jo Hobson

Click Images for Larger View

Currently we have 50 Certified Visual Coaches, sprinkled across the globe. The SHIFT-IT tools are primarily conducted in English, however we are beginning to expand into other languages too.


See this “Intro to Visual Coaching” Info Webinar for more information about this powerful method and its benefits for you and your clients:

* Click Lower Right Corner for Expanded View


As I experimented in the early days with Visual Coaching, I eventually settled into a consistent 7-Step System and created Visual Maps for each step (17 overall). Clients can be facilitated fully through this comprehensive process, or, you can cherry pick relevant maps depending on their needs and how you like to work.

SHIFT-IT ModelThe SHIFT-IT name is an acronym:

  • Satisfaction Interrupted
  • Harvest Your History
  • Investigate Your Now
  • Focus on Your Future
  • Trouble at the Border
  • Ink It, Don’t Just Think It
  • Take Action

The Core Tools: 17 Visual Maps

siovidsnapshot Click here for a thorough explanation of the SHIFT-IT System,including case study examples of the Visual Maps — PLUS an overview video from a SHIFT-IT Online course. It begins with an overview of the course and my forays into Visual Coaching (in case you want to listen to that story). At the 30 minute mark, the description of the SHIFT-IT System and Visual Maps begins.

There are two pre-requisites for Visual Coach Certification, going through SHIFT-IT yourself is one of them (so you understand this transformational process from the inside out before you hold the container for others). The other pre-requisite is The Fundamentals of Working Visually (or equivalent experience). For more information on these pre-requisites, click here.


Plus 13 Bonus Maps:

Over the years I have created additional Visual Maps to aid in my coaching practice. I’ve added 13 additional maps for my Certified Visual Coaches to have access to as well. For more info, click here.


Additional Info on Visual Coaching:

ahha I see itUsing the visual approach with clients is practical, efficient and … fun! Clients understand what they are in for (as they can literally see the coaching process laid out in front of them) plus they quickly form an emotional attachment to their maps as you go along.

They keep the maps as a visual record of their coaching sessions and often share them with their loved ones and trusted advisers like counselors, accountants, financial advisors, even realtors (if a certain type of geography or home is in their future!).

Over the years, I’ve shared a TON about the power of working visually with individuals, see these links for more info:

The Four Ways to Work Visually (with Video)

Why Working Visually Is Powerful in Coaching and Personal Growth

How Coaches, Therapists and Other Professionals Can Work Visually

Visual Coaching Acclimatization

My Journey With Visual Coaching

Visual Coach Certification Enhancements

For additional articles, click here. For podcasts, click here. For additional videos, click here.


SI-school-imageVisual Coach Certification:

  • THOROUGHLY TRAINS YOU IN VISUAL COACHING TECHNIQUES: both in-person and virtual/digital methods;
  • PROVIDES EXPERT INSTRUCTION, MATERIALS AND SUPPORT: in a progressive online learning environment;
  • TEACHES YOU HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN VISUAL TOOLS FROM YOUR OWN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: for those who are already seasoned coaches or content providers;
  • GIVES YOU HELPFUL MARKETING ASSISTANCE AND TOOLS: to establish a successful visual practice or enhance an existing one;
  • INTRODUCES YOU TO YOUR GLOBAL VISUAL TRIBE: wonderful, dedicated people like you who are also integrating these useful skills into their process toolkit. Learn within a supportive community.
Visioning: Magnetism Map. Courtesy of Visual Coach: Aaron Johannes

Courtesy of Visual Coach: Aaron Johannes

Life Map. Courtesy of Visual Coach: Melanie Zucker

Courtesy of Visual Coach: Melanie Zucker

Click Images for Larger View



  • 10 90-Minute Live Training Webinars: Tuesdays, April 4 – June 13th, noon-1:30 pacific;
  • 4 90-Minute Support Webinars: Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 7, Dec. 5, noon-1:30 pacific,;
  • Bonus Q&A: I stick around after each webinar for as long as it takes;
  • Full Recordings: video and MP3 of every session plus PDFs of webinar slides;
  • 14 Coach-in-Training eBooks & Maps: “Certified Visual Coach” versions upon grad;
  • 13 Additional Visuals Maps: for even more visual options for your clients;
  • Case Study Library: Demos by Christina (2 of each Visual Map);
  • 3 30-Minute Private Coaching Sessions with Christina: for 1:1 private support;
  • Online Forum: for 24/7 sharing with your global cohort;
  • 90-Minute Exit Exam: including Test Client provided from our list of volunteers;
  • Post-Grad Marketing Materials: Certified Visual Coach eBooks, 8.5×11 and 11×17 maps, logos, models, thumbnails, sales copy examples, sample agendas & contracts, and listing in Certified Visual Coach Directory – bravo and congratulations!
  • Plus Access to Any New Visual Maps Added in the Future: as I keep inventing new tools!

COMBO PACKAGE: 4 Courses Combined for Greatest Savings – take up to 2 years to complete!

Everything in Certification, PLUS …

  • Pre-requisite: Fundamentals of Working Visually (pick your timing & delivery method);
  • Pre-requisite: SHIFT-IT (pick your timing & delivery method);
  • Bonus: Business Essentials for Process Professionals (10-Module Home Study Kit).
Life Map. Courtesy of Visual Coach: Steph Martini

Courtesy of Visual Coach: Steph Martini

Visioning. Courtesy of Visual Coach: Susan Howarth

Courtesy of Visual Coach: Susan Howarth

Click Images for Larger View


There are two pre-requisites required: Fundamentals of Working Visually (or equivalent experience) and The SHIFT-IT System.

The Fundamentals course trains you in the underlying visual skills that are used in Visual Coaching. If you already are a Visual Practitioner of some sort (having received training from a different instructor) you are welcome to submit examples of your work to determine equivalency.

SHIFT-IT is required, in order that you understand the system first as a participant yourself, before you are trained in how to effectively hold that space for others.

If you do not have these pre-requisites you’ll need to secure them first, then apply for Certification. Alternatively, you can apply for the ‘Combo Package’ which includes Certification plus the two pre-requisites. FYI, the Combo Package offers price savings over purchasing separately.

Info on Fundamentals of Working Visually:

There are multiple ways to meet your Fundamentals of Working Visually pre-requisite. For info click here.

Online Course Options:

Fall 2017: Oct. 2 – Dec. 13, 2017
18 Live 60 Minute Webinars
Monday & Wed: noon-1 pm pacific

Spring 2018: Feb. 26 – May 9, 2018
18 Live 60 Minute Webinars
Monday & Wed: noon-1 pm pacific

Fall 2018: Dates To Be Announced

Spring 2019: Dates To Be Announced

In-Person Course Options:

May 31 – June 2, 2018: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

June 2019: Dates To Be Announced

Home Study Kit: If you have missed the live offerings, or the dates don’t work for you, I may allow you to obtain the pre-requisite via completion of the Working Visually Home Study Kit (basic level). Let’s discuss during your Application Interview.

Info on SHIFT-IT:

home-retreat-kit5There are several ways to meet your SHIFT-IT pre-requisite. Privately with me or one of my Certified Visual Coaches, or via SHIFT-IT Online or the Home Study. For more info click here.

Online Course Options:

Spring 2018:
7 Live 90 Minute Webinars
Jan. 13 – March 3, 2018
Saturdays: 10-11:30 am Pacific

Spring 2018: Dates to Be Announced

SHIFT-IT Home Retreat Kit: If you have missed the live offerings or the dates don’t work for you, I may allow you to obtain the pre-requisite via completion of the Home Study Kit (basic level). Let’s discuss during your Application Interview.

CERTIFICATION SCHEDULE: Training Phase, Self Directed Phase and Exam

Training Phase:

Tuesdays, April 3 – June 19, 2018

12-1:30 pacific (1 mountain, 2 central, 3 eastern, Europe: evenings, Austral-Asia: Early Mornings, see time converter for your zone)

*Note: no classes: April 24 and June 5

For in-depth explanation of The SHIFT-IT Visual Coaching System, including enlarged views of Visual Maps: click here.

Module 1: April 3 Welcome & Start-Up

Meet your fellow Visual-Coaches-in-Training from around the globe in our official kick off. In this first webinar I outline the agenda, including key dates and milestones. And review the various aids we have to support you in your learning (class materials, recordings, forum, etc). Also an explanation of the various ways Visual Coaching can be delivered (both in-person and virtually/digitally) … as you will quickly need to make decisions about how you wish to work as you go through the Program. We also discuss criteria for Practice Clients and ways to track your client hours.

Module 2: April 10
Stage: Satisfaction Interrupted

Map 1: At The Crossroads
At The CrossroadsOn this second webinar we dive right into the SHIFT-IT System, starting with an explanation of the typical presenting issues that clients usually begin this type of coaching with. An introduction of the ‘At the Crossroads’ Map used to visually record this valuable beginning information. Also an overview of the other important things that occur with this beginning stage fo the process (rapport, building the coaching container, boundaries, ground rules, and key things to watch out for).

Module 3: April 17*
Stage: Harvest Your History

In this 3rd webinar we explore the ‘Harvest Your History’ stage, including why you may opt to draw your clients historical story out of them (or have them draw it) via the highly inspirational and revealing Life Map exercise. With hundreds of Life Maps behind me, I reveal my opinions and secrets about this delicate process and what I feel works best. Why this may turn out to be your favorite map even if you initially are reluctant to dive deep.

Maps 2-6: Life Maps & Catch and Release

Visual Coaching Map

*Skips Week of Apr. 24

Module 4: May 1
Stage: Investigate Your Now

On this 4th webinar you are trained on the ‘Investigate Your Now’ stage – with a few visual moves to help you and your client access their current satisfaction level. Before you can move forward successfully into visioning, you and your client really need to understand their current situation and I explain to you the key things you need to look out for at this stage of the game.

Map 7: Focus on Me, Map 8: S.E.L.F. Inventory

Focus on Me and SELF Inventory - visual coaching map

Module 5: May 8
Stage: Focus on Your Future

Our fifth training webinar is an exciting stage of the work –visioning. I have a long-time background in corporate and personal visioning and share my depth of experience. Learn two fun and effective warm up moves to get your clients into the visioning vibe, followed by the powerful Magnetism Map – a premier tool that galvanizes your client’s goals and energy into one central place. As an added bonus, I provide a tutorial on how to effectively lead your clients through a Future Self guided imagery exercise and provide a sample script.

Map 9: Essential Extracts, Map 10: Future Self Vision, Map 11: Magnetism Map

Essential Extracts Visual Coaching Map

Module 6: May 15
Stage: Trouble at the Border

On our sixth call we move into my favorite territory, what I call ‘Trouble at the Border’ … the psychological (or allowing) border between what your clients say they want and the internal and external blocks that stand in their way. This is where my background in Law of Attraction and shamanic/energy work are woven into the SHIFT-IT System. I include an additional ‘Law of Attraction (LOA) Primer’ for those of you unfamiliar with LOA work. By the way, you do not have to take your clients into LOA territory if you don’t care to – all three of the maps in this stage of the process can be lead from the literal level.

Map 12: Flip It, Flip It Good, Map 13: Archeology of Beliefs, Map 14: Inner Alignment

FlipIt-Archeology-Alignment - Visual Coaching Map

Module 7: May 22
Stages: Ink It, Don’t Just Think It & Take Action

Moving along, we explore the final two stages: Ink It Don’t Just Think It … and Take Action … where we ground the visioning and inner depth work of the previous stages into practical reality. Action plays a key role in SHIFT-IT work, but action of an ‘aligned’ nature (big distinction). When you guide your clients to vision effectively (where not only do they see things but they FEEL them) – well … aligned action follows close on their heels. I fully share my experience in this crucial step of the work.

Map 15: Big Picture Plan, Map 16: Take Action Plan

My Big Picture Plan

Module 8: May 29*
Closure Tips and Next Steps / Recommendations

Map 17: Declaration of Intent

In Webinar 8 we unpack the final map of the system – The Declaration of Intent. And, I share my wisdom about how to effectively bring closure to your client’s initial SHIFT-IT experience. While this map is the last visual step in the process, it by no means has to be your final contact with your client … in fact; it can signal the start of a whole new chapter in your coaching alliance — implementation and ongoing support. In some ways, SHIFT-IT acts as a large assessment package. Once you complete it, there are several different ways your coaching can go after that. I’ll share the ways I like to take the work and help you brainstorm additional options that fit your own personality and coaching preferences.

*Skips Weeks of June 5

Module 9: June 12
Marketing & Business Development

Having a great coaching process and suite of tools is only part of the equation – you also need to know how to effectively market your offerings. On this webinar I share my wealth of experience in marketing the visual way of working and what your best selling strategies should be to get the word out about yourself and the cool new medium you work in. As well as the many different ways you can format and structure Visual Coaching into a varied menu for your different types of clients (half-day, full-day, multi-day, weekly or bi-weekly sessions, in-person coaching groups or weekends, etc). Plus helpful pricing options and strategies for a complete sales funnel.

Module 10: June 19
Community & Support – Last Webinar of Training Phase

Last but certainly not least, we have our final training call about how to keep the camaraderie and support going as you move into the Self-Directed Phase of the program – completing 24 hours of visual coaching practice with live clients that you attract. Our NING group remains as a central community resource and the creation of Buddy Alliances is encouraged.

* Please note that it is mandatory to attend at least 7 of the 10 training webinars live. Barring extenuating circumstances, should you miss more than three modules you will need to start the Program over again at the next offering (so please lock these dates into your calendar now to preserve them!).

Self Directed Phase with Monthly Support Webinars (mid-June to December):

coachingFrom mid June you enter the Self Directed Phase of the program. You have until December 31, 2018 to complete 24 hours of Visual Coaching.

You must put one client fully through The SHIFT-IT Visual Coaching System (counts as 12 hours). For the remaining 12 hours you may opt to put another client fully through the Process, or work with various clients with various maps to reach your needed hours. Coaching hours using your own Visual Coaching Maps (should you choose to create them) may also count towards your tally.

guest-interviewsTo offer ongoing support during this important phase, we have four Monthly Support Webinars, which are mandatory to attend. Tuesdays, noon-1:30 pm pacific: September 11, October 9, November 6 and December 4. On these calls I share information on the 13 Bonus Maps as well as field your questions regarding your ongoing client work and anything else you would care to discuss.

Private Coaching Sessions (3, 30-Minute Private Webinars): To provide additional support, you also receive 3 30-minute private coaching sessions with me, to discuss anything you care to discuss in the privacy of a one-to-one container. These sessions can be used prior, during and after the program (up to 3 months after graduation).

EXAM PHASE: Exit Packages Due By December 31st, 2018 (early submissions welcome).

The following requirements are due by December 31st, 2018 (many finish early, so submit whenVisual Coach Certification ready);

* Roster of 24 Hours of Client Hours;
* 2 Client Testimonials;
* Your Own SHIFT-IT Maps (Magnetism Map, FLIP-IT and Action Plan);
* Visual Coaching Examples: All SHIFT-IT maps (in order) and Any Other Visual Coaching Examples (if applicable);

Upon receipt of this material your 90-Minute Exit Exam with myself (and a test client) is scheduled. You receive thorough feedback by audio (MP3) including the results of your exam. One retake allowed if necessary. Upon graduation you are listed on Visual Coach Directory and granted access to Certified Visual Coach materials.

Please carefully read the terms of use below:


As a Certified Visual Coach, you have one individual license (for life), for the following purposes:

  • Use SHIFT-IT System & Bonus Maps With Private 1:1 Clients (In-Person & Virtual);
  • Conduct SHIFT-IT Coaching Groups Or Weekend Intensives (In-Person Only);
  • Use Various SHIFT-IT Maps Combined With Your Own Material In Online Coaching Groups;
  • Permission to Re-Draw Visual Maps Into Large Wall-Size Format.


  • No Resell Of SHIFT-IT Products / Intellectual Property: see Affiliate Program;
  • No Share Or Train Of Methods and Materials with Others; see Affiliate Program;
  • No Online Coaching Groups Using Full SHIFT-IT Process or Brand;
  • The eBooks & Maps Are ‘As Is’. No Edits, Changes Or Additions.
  • In English: We Do Have German Edition Of SHIFT-IT Maps Available. Should You Desire The Maps In Another Language, We Can Discuss At The Time Of Your Admissions Interview. All Translations Produced and Owned By SHIFT-IT Coach, Inc.


This program attracts various kinds of Process Professionals who work with individuals, including coaches, therapists, counselors, financial advisers, mediators, HR professionals, disability specialists and the like. Some of these Professionals are very comfortable with the Visual Coach brand and value having that precise wording. Others, for various reasons, desire a more general wording without ‘coach’ or even ‘visual’ in their credential. To accommodate various needs I offer a two-brand approach, so upon graduation you can pick the brand that best suits your particular practice. Either “Certified Visual Coach” or “Certified in SHIFT-IT Maps”.



faqsHere are some other frequently asked questions …

How Many Certified Visual Coaches Are There?
Who Is Accepted? | What Are Other Participants Like?
How Can You Effectively Train Us Through Webinars?
What’s this “Big Web Breakthrough” You Keep Talking About?
What Are The 17 SHIFT-IT Maps in Detail?
What are the Additional 13 Maps in Detail?
What If I’m Scared by the Drawing/Art Stuff?
Do You Offer Scholarships or Discounts?
Can You Give Me More Info About This Approach Overall?
Fees, Payment Plans & Registration



Certified Visual Coach®, 1st Program Graduate!

“I enrolled in Visual Coach Certification® to enhance my 30+ years as a therapist in women’s empowerment. Using Christina’s visual system has been overwhelmingly positive. Clients repeatedly say how powerful and insightful their maps are and how “they LOVE the structure”. As a therapist, I use the Life Maps extensively. Clients literally SEE their histories in new amazing ways – one woman had a particularly profound breakthrough in her body/weight issues … a direct result of visually depicting her past situation.

Christina is a fascinating coach & teacher — shares LOTS of information and is very accessible. Visual Coaching has given me a WHOLE NEW DIRECTION with my business and web presence. VERY pleased with my Visual Coach Certification experience.”

Sue Bates, M.Ed.
LMHC Therapist and Consultant
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.


“I’ve always been interested in drawing and art, and I’m a life coach, so Christina’s visual process intrigued me. A friend’s husband had gone through her SHIFT-IT Process® and had fabulous results. So, I signed up for her Fundamentals of Interactive Visuals, LOVED it and wanted more! I was excited when she announced the Visual Coach Certification and immediately signed up. It absolutely surpassed my expectations (which were already high). Very well organized and clear – no details left out. Christina is generous in so many ways: sharing contracts, her visual tools, lessons learned through the years of doing her unique work. And encouraging us to be flexible and inventive once we’ve learned the basics. My client work has been such an honor. The SHIFT-IT Maps help people see their belief systems clearly, gain confidence in their next decisions, and trust in how their life is unfolding. I give her training an A+.”

Simone Goudreau
Emotional Eating Coach
Yellowknife, NT, Canada


Lynn Thomas, Visual Christian Coach

Lynn Thomas, Visual Christian Coach

“Being a Professional Coach already, I was a little unsure as to “what”, exactly, I would gain from Visual Coach Certification … until I dove in and went through the program. Being more “left brained” I was a little nervous about learning to use the visual tools. Wow! Using visuals with my clients has been a GAME-CHANGER. I am SO grateful for your mentoring and tools. It’s easy to learn (with practice, practice, practice) and, more importantly, to implement. I now use visuals on a regular basis with my clients. You are a patient, giving, articulate coach who has a unique gift of helping the motivated learn things that are outside of their usual comfort zone. Your classes and resources are useful, practical and challenging. Fundamentals of Interactive-Visuals was inspirational, to say the least. And THANK YOU for Biz Essentials for Process Professionals. It’s one thing to learn it, it’s another thing to apply it in a practical way to a money making business. I cannot thank you enough.”

Lynn Thomas
Visual Christian Coach
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.


Thomas Pfister

“I came across Christina Merkley’s name at different training sessions at The Grove Consultants in San Francisco. I was attracted by Christina’s very well elaborated three-step program for Visual Coach Certification. As a visual addicted individual I was driven to participate.The mix of online and in-person training was well done. The face-to-face Fundamentals of Working Visually in Victoria, Canada was an exciting, marvelous experience. All these wonderful, helpful, visual soul mates around the globe together with our highly professional trainer.

Her unique manner of guiding and teaching people, were a really stimulating, empowering mix — allowing me to take off to new visual heights.

I was deeply impressed and appreciative of Christina’s passionate, authentic, humorous and at the same down-to-earth, effective and efficient style. Her courtesy to share her immense know how, her business and marketing model, her experience and her highly sophisticated and precious toolkit were a real asset.

For my business as Organizational Development Consultant, Visual Facilitator and Coach the acquired skills and the toolkit are a perfect addition.

Christina, I say thank you so much for your likeable and fostering guidance on a marvelous and successful journey to become a Certified Visual Coach myself!

No question, I personally recommend this program without any reservations!”

Thomas Pfister
Visual Facilitator & Certified Visual Coach®
Zurich, Switzerland


Andrea Gibbons

“Working with Christina has been a life-changer for me. I’ve learned new skills and processes, embraced and polished others that had been laying dormant/ unacknowledged/ unappreciated for a long time, gained clarity about who I am, what matters to me and most importantly about how I want to live my life and spend my time.

Confidence was a significant issue for me, as it can be for so many. The support that Christina provides (both in real tangible ways with skill development and the intangible encouragement and belief in me) has been so valuable as I make my personal transition from behind others to stand at the front of the room again. Her courses, her coaching and the people that she brings together are quite simply phenomenal. The connections I’ve made during the courses I’ve taken with her are so valuable in the moment and very encouraging.

I resonated with The SHIFT-IT Visual Coaching System and am now a Certified Visual Coach® so I can use these powerful tools with my own clients. With a background in strategic planning, this process strongly aligns with the principles and activities I’m so used to applying organizationally. Having a process to guide coaching conversations is a fantastic additive for clients to explore their desires, define their goals and purposely activate their chosen path.

The clients that I’ve used SHIFT-IT with just love it! Having a visual record of their sessions is hugely valuable. Clients have posted their maps in their homes as daily reminders … one even made screen savers for her phone and computer! And wow – people make such rapid, significant shifts in thinking and feelings with massive change in such a short period of time with this process … it’s actually awe-inspiring. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an effective process for personal change and activation. I cannot imagine coaching any other way now. And it’s a flexible system that allows me to customize to specific client needs and desires too.

I am living a purposeful, authentic and aligned life and I’m excited and grateful to be doing this work. And Christina – her presence, coaching and courses – has been a big part of my ability to realize my goals. Christina’s talents and skills are outstanding – and her desire to support others in their development is a model for me in my work.”

Andrea Gibbons
Change Consultant & Certified Visual Coach®
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Jo Hobson, Organizational Psychologist Cape Town, South Africa

“I’d been admiring Christina’s work for a long time before I took the plunge and made the investment in Visual Coach Certification. It has been a GREAT decision in SO many ways:

  • My clients absolutely LOVE working with the new Visual Maps;
  • My Graphic Facilitation and Coaching skills were taken to my next level;
  • Perfect combination of sufficient stretch with loads of learning, yet also a safe and encouraging environment that made it easy to practice my visuals and the technology;
  • Rich in great material, practice opportunities, generous feedback and connections with other Visual-Coaches-in-Training from across the globe;
  • Christina’s approach is both deeply authentic and highly professional. I was a little intimidated by the high standard set for homework and the Exam, but that has ultimately made this Certification that much more valuable;
  • Administrative support is first-class;

The best way to start my day on a positive note now is with Visual Coaching – whether it’s creating my own maps, prepping SHIFT-IT tools for a client, or just practicing my visual techniques – this work has become my happy space!”

Jo Hobson
Organizational Psychologist
Cape Town, South Africa


ROIThis quality program is a wise career investment for dedicated Process Professionals. A proven, structured way to quickly and skillfully build visual competency into your Process Practice. With a fast return on investment as you implement into your work.

Upon completion you are a granted “FOR LIFE” an individual licence to my Visual Coaching techniques, the SHIFT-IT Visual Coaching System and the 30 Visual Maps. Additionally, as a graduate, you receive any additional maps added to this program in the future.

Below are two options: which one you choose depends on whether or not you already have the two required pre-requisites. As well as handy payment plans that pull every 30 days. Should you desire a longer plan, just ask, as we can usually accommodate requests.

Upon registration, you proceed to an Application Interview, where you and I discuss your interest in the program and determine your eligibility. Should we both feel you are a good fit, you are accepted into the Program. Should either of us feel its not a fit, your deposit will be promptly refunded.


Yes Christina, I’m ready to become a CERTIFIED VISUAL COACH to build more professionalism, prosperity and fun into my practice! I understand I’ll be contacted shortly after ordering my option below to schedule my Application Interview.

Certification Only or Combo Package


I Already Have The Fundamentals of Working Visually and SHIFT-IT Online Group Pre-Requisites.

Deadline to Apply: Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Choose Your Payment Plan:

Order Now $500 Deposit, Then 1 Payment of $4497.00

Order Now $500 Deposit, Then 4 Easy Monthly Payments of $1147.00

Order Now $500 Deposit, Then 10 Easy Monthly Payments of $467.00

Order Now $500 Deposit, Then 18 Easy Monthly Payments of $270.00


I don’t have the prerequisites and would like to save by bundling together. And also receive Business Essentials for Process Professionals as an added bonus!


Choose Your Pace: Fast or Take Up To 2 Years
Special Combo Price: $5997 SAVE Up to $2000

During Your Application Interview We’ll Discuss Which Course Options Suit You:

1. SHIFT-IT Online (choose one):

Online Class: January 13 – March 3, 2018 (no class Jan 27) (Saturdays, 10-11:30am Pacific)

Online Class: Spring 2019  (dates to be announced)

Home Study Option: Complete Basic Level of Kit

2. Fundamentals of Working Visually  (choose one):

Online Class: October 2 – December 13, 2017 (Mondays & Wednesdays, noon-1pm Pacific)

Online Class: February 26 – May 9, 2018 (Mondays & Wednesdays, noon-1pm Pacific)

Online Class: Fall 2018 (dates to be announced)

Online Class: Spring 2019 (dates to be announced)

In-Person Class: May 31 – June 2, 2018 (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

In-Person Class:  June 2019 (dates to be announced)

Home Study Option: Complete Basic Level of Kit

3. Visual Coach Certification  (choose one):

Online Class: April 3 – June 19, 2018, Tuesdays, 12-1:30pm Pacific. Until end of 2017 to complete client hours.

Online Class: April  – June, 2019, Dates to be Announced. Until end of 2018 to complete client hours.

4. Business Essentials for Process Professionals: Immediate Access to 10-Module Home Study Kit.

Deadline to Apply: Depends on Course Start Dates

Choose Your Payment Plan:

Order Now $500 Deposit, Then 1 Payment of $5497.00

Order Now $500 Deposit, Then 4 Easy Monthly Payments of $1400.00

Order Now $500 Deposit, Then 10 Easy Monthly Payments of $575.00

Order Now $500 Deposit, Then 18 Easy Monthly Payments of $325.00

Order Now $500 Deposit, Then 24 Easy Monthly Payments of $246.00

Please Note:

* Fees are in Canadian Funds, see for current currency conversion.
* Plus applicable tax for Canadians.
* Payment plans are legal contracts to be fulfilled per terms stated.

* Pick whichever payment plan suits your cash flow needs whether you intend on completing quick or taking 2 years to complete the full program.  1 pay is most economical.  Other plans including additional fees.


In closing, let me just express how appreciative I am with the way this Program has unfolded over the years and the quality of people it attracts. The current cohort of Coaches-in-Training are doing beautifully and I look forward in delicious anticipation to you joining the next cohort for this special program.

Thank you for your participation and for the work that together we do in the world – to midwife our own shifts and in our clients that we are so fortunate to work with.

Yours in Visual Expansion,

Christina Merkley, Visual Coach & Visual Mentor

Christina Merkley, The SHIFT-IT Coach and Process Skills Mentor

P.S. Further questions? Just email Additionally you can request a Free 30-Minute Exploratory Chat so you and I can talk directly.

More Testimonials:


Dr. Rita Smith Certified Visual Coach

“Christina tops my professional gratitude list! I knew of her stellar reputation and took 2 flights, a bus, a train, a ferry and a seaplane to work in person with her!

During my incredible private Visual Skills training I learned so much about working visually with both groups and individuals and was also introduced to the Law of Attraction.

Her mentoring led me to become an ICF Certified Coach and to deeply explore LOA principles.

I then secured The SHIFT-IT Home Retreat Kit. The visual maps and overall process was life changing. This important reflection was a catalyst for me to “retire” from 35 years in corporations and become a “solopreneur”.

Entrepreneurship is a new arena for me so Business Essentials for Process Professionals was invaluable. As with all her programs Christina generously shares her knowledge, practical resources, and personal experiences. The accompanying private coaching was extremely useful to apply the concepts to my own situation.

My most recent (notice I did not use the term ‘last’!) adventure is successfully completing Visual Coach Certification. This credential equips me with the skills and confidence to use her SHIFT-IT System with my own clients, and it broadened my overall coaching abilities too, including adding distance sessions to my repertoire (via web conference and digital tablet).

Christina is always cutting edge with her use of technology to enhance learning and student collaboration. Given that she is a life-long learner and innovator, I look forward to my next learning experience with her!”

Dr. Rita Smith
Certified Visual Coach
Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A.


Aaron Johannes Certified Visual Coach®“The day I got word of my successful completion of Visual Coach Certification® I was working on a new chart for a client who comes annually for visual project updates. It’s great for them, and I love how much airplay the charts get in their work with various teams around the province.

On that significant day of completion, I got to compare three charts; one from 3 years ago, another from 2 years ago and then the current one (made on the heels of the last 13 months in SHIFT-IT Online, The Fundamentals of Working Visually and Visual Coach Certification). Comparing my charts was yet another powerful lesson in how good coaching can improve one’s work, and why I consider Christina Merkley one of the great mentors in my life.

While that’s about the improvement of technical skills, there’s also been an amazing shift in me as a person too. I think the word that comes to mind most about this program for me is “trust.” Becoming a Visual Coach with individuals was a leap for me after years of co-facilitating groups in various kinds of team planning processes. I had worked with individuals with disabilities using the PATH Process, however I was now trusted to add the SHIFT-IT tools to my toolkit too.

I made my way through the base training part of the program then progressed to working with clients: suddenly there was this one person (my first official visual coaching client); hopeful, daunted, nervous, wondering, and trusting to be coached, by me. In that moment (once I remembered to breathe) I recalled how Christina had told me the truth even when it was hard to hear, and also when she told me what she liked about what I had done and how I had improved – she asked me to try something different, in my graphics and in my life, and I trusted her sense of what I was capable of. And it worked. And she sent me back to redo something. Not many people send me back to do things over. Oddly, I liked that a lot.

All day I mulled over these ideas and then, as I coached someone through a shift in their life, they said, “I really trust your sense of this – I know I can trust you to help me get where I want to go.”

Aaron Johannes
Co-Director, Spectrum Society | Graphic Facilitator & Coach
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


“Christina: I loved the training. The pacing, materials, and support were excellent, as was Christina’s willingness to share her experience of what does (and doesn’t) work. The SHIFT-IT maps fit well into my own practice and have given me a head start into doing more visual coaching while I create visual tools of my own. My clients love to see our conversations come back to them in living color. The overarching message is that they feel seen and heard – which is HUGE!

This program also gave me tools to enhance the power of the Law of Attraction for my own life and business. It helped me gain more clarity around my own calling and how I show up in the world.”

Jennifer Voss
Master Certified Life Coach
Chief Truth & Wellness Officer
Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.A


“Prior to applying for Visual Coach Certification®, I was a visual recording student of Christina’s as well as a private coaching client. With her encouraging support— I responsibly left my full-time job of 17 years by gradually phasing into an independent lifestyle as a Visual Recorder and Visual Coach.

Benefiting from her powerful methods myself, I said, “if you ever train others in this, I want in!” I loved this info filled program. Christina openly shares her innovative methods and how she does them – a talented teacher. The case study mp3s were particularly valuable –eavesdropping on her live work. Using the visual coaching tools, my own clients had fast successes, including a marriage proposal and a new car… another burst into tears and movingly said “wow, this is the first time I’ve truly been heard and seen!” So impressed with the integrity and beauty of this work.”

Sue Keely
Visual Recorder & Visual Coach
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, U.S.A.


Szilard Strenner
“I am really grateful to Christina and I really appreciate her and Visual Coach Certification®. I learned a lot and many things changed around me.

We got gorgeous videos and a fabulous toolkit; we were taught how to properly employ The SHIFT-IT Visual Coaching System® and its 17 visual maps with clients.

We were insistently reminded how to formulate visual recordings correctly. We were coached via ongoing contact with our mentor and peers. And we were examined via a thorough exit process and received detailed, helpful feedback in a highly supportive manner.

Before I applied, two important visual practitioner colleagues labeled Christina “a highly professional” source, and yes, they were right. She shared her working methods, tools, accessories, and business tips. I gained superb practical tools to support my professional and personal transition. I launched my visual practitioner business and website (English version coming soon), created environment for online visual coaching, have started to build a team and I have new and returning coaching and corporate visual facilitation clients. I was very satisfied with the program and the results we created.

Many people say “I am a coach!” but in Visual Coach Certification we worked hard to earn our visual distinction! Thank You Christina and Congratulations to the whole SHIFT-IT team in Victoria, and our peers all around the World! Are you wanting to shift your practice to the visual way of working? If so, I highly recommend the visual trainings at SHIFT-IT Coach, Inc”.

Szilard Strenner
Visual Facilitator & Certified Visual Coach®,
Budapest, Hungary


Sylvie Kwayeb Fagon
“My connection with visual thinking and tools started years ago with Mindmapping.

In 2009, I came across your website and that was it! I started with The SHIFT-IT Home Retreat Kit. Was impressed with its quality and the results that unfolded after using it.

I then enrolled in Fundamentals of Interactive-Visuals online (very comprehensive and full of great resources, from drawing to business choices. And it was fun too!) From there I joined The SHIFT-IT Online Group (supportive and respectful with people from all around the world – wonderful)

I then committed myself to Visual Coach Certification®. Again a group with a high level of competence and humanity. Very well organized and professional. Even more than what I was expecting. I experienced the pleasure of my clients discovering and unfolding their visions like I did. Now I am a Certified Visual Coach® in the middle of creating my new business and it feels great!

Thank you Christina, because when you say “pick my brain”, it is true: you really share your knowledge, skills, experience and tools with a huge generosity.

I trusted that you were the right person for this step of my life and I was right!”

Sylvie Kwayeb Fagon
Certified Visual Coach®
Plouezoc’h France


“I was recently asked, “How are you able to get your art done while also juggling a family and full-time day job?” Over the past year I have been working to become a Certified Visual Coach, and I’ve been using this powerful process to do my own strategic visioning and planning too. I have achieved AMAZING results in the past year:

  1. Accepted in local, regional, and national juried exhibitions, received my first award, and sold work at shows.
  2. Held first(now annual)open studio show.
  3. Accepted into Fort Collins Studio Tour.
  4. Created a website, blog, & Facebook Fan page.
  5. Teaching “Visiting Artist Workshop”, at Ah Haa School for the Arts in Telluride, CO.
  6. Invited to be in 2-artist gallery show.

The SHIFT-IT Process® is like putting rocket boosters to whatever “IT” you want to shift – I’ve experienced it personally and had the privilege to witness it work its magic with my clients too. Thank you Christina!”

Ayn Hanna
Visual Facilitator & Textile Artist
Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.A.


Lisa Land May“My journey through Visual Coach Certification is one of my most favorite professional and personal experiences. I sought out Christina Merkley’s expertise to develop my Graphic Recording skills for use in the consulting business I own with my sister. What I found was my PASSION … for Visual Coaching and helping others. To say this program exceeded my expectations is an understatement!

I was so impressed with how the 17 visual maps so naturally lead me to “my best self” that I wanted to be trained and certified to hold that special container for others too. The SHIFT-IT Visual Coaching System is clearly created by years of experience, deep thought and creativity. Christina is most generous with her knowledge, best practices and processes. As a student of Fundamentals of Interactive-Visuals and SHIFT-IT Online (the prerequisites for Certification) I’ve been very impressed by the detail, flexibility and thoroughness of her courses. A true mentor in working visually with groups and individuals. I have learned a great deal and am excitedly incorporating my passion for coaching and working in a visual way into our business. Thank you, Christina!”

Lisa Land May
Certified Visual Coach
Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.


Steph Martini Certified Visual Coach

“As a real estate and business coach, I focus on the whole person; life coaching is a natural result. With a strong passion for expressive visual and kinesthetic communication, Visual Coach Certification (including its 2 pre-requisites) was a perfect pathway.

I love combining the myriad of SHIFT-IT tools into my practice and being empowered to spread Christina’s vision while impacting lives at such a high level.

Her tools are fun, aesthetically pleasing and create powerful breakthroughs — they literally “draw out” my client’s beliefs, what serves them and what doesn’t. Manifesting goals is just the beginning magic of what immersion in this work has created for my clients and I. Whether you are a Coach, Facilitator or Graphic Recorder these courses are well worth the investment in yourself.”

Steph Martini
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
Real Estate & Business Coach (Keller Williams Realty East Valley)


Anne Marie Turnbull“I was first exposed to working visually in 2010 when I began to cast about for more interesting ways to engage leaders in the wide variety of offsites that I lead. After reading a number of books and applying general concepts, I knew that I would benefit from some more structured “hands on” learning. Enter Christina Merkley. I started with her beginning course and was hooked!

Fundamentals of Interactive-Visuals was an incredibly rich learning experience. Christina’s intellectual generosity is unparalleled. She not only skilfully taught the basics but also shared tips and tricks to accelerate my learning. Critical for me as I am not a natural artist! There had been icons that I had consistently struggled with and one particular session broke my logjam. My facilitation clients have pro-actively commented on the power of my visuals to focus and enable their conversations that matter.

Magic Marker Mastermind was my next opportunity to further stretch. While the calls were a great way to get feedback and to share insights, I found the real-time, ‘at the wall’ retreats invaluable for application and experimentation. A fertile environment for breakthroughs of which I had many!

Emboldened by success with facilitation clients, I decided to pursue using visuals with my coaching clients. While I often found myself drawing in sessions, Christina’s approach is more deliberate and intentional. I enrolled in Visual Coach Certification (which I’ll finish next month). The three coachees that I have taken through The SHIFT-IT Visual Coaching Process® were extremely positive about this inner work/outer work framework and the power of the visuals to spur deeper thinking.

I cannot speak highly enough about Christina and her programs. She is truly a pleasure to work with. She lives what she teaches and coaches. Her openness, generosity of spirit, creativity and resourcefulness are a pleasure to experience and a model to emulate. I highly recommend her courses and can virtually guarantee that you will not be able to stop at just one!”

Anne Marie Turnbull
President, AMT Associates
Oakville, Ontario, Canada


“I think ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘ready’ are the best words to describe me the day I trusted my instincts to call a woman in Canada I had never met. That woman was Christina Merkley. I had found her via her info on manifestation, law of attraction and using visuals to Become Your Next Self. I wondered if she would mentor me … YES, that is how bold I was. To my great surprise Christina picked up the phone and gave me her time and the gift of listening. I explained that I thought coaching was where I belonged. Christina shared some stories from her own fascinating journey and said “if coaching is really the direction you want to go, I suggest you get some good coach training as a starting place, cause it’s a real, distinct role onto itself … if you find you like it, swing back for our Visual Coach Certification down the line.”

That was a Thursday; and by Monday I was registered with a base training she recommended — by Friday was on a flight to Chicago. Its been two years and my journey has been AMAZING — I’m now a coach (having gone on for advanced training too), am happily re-settled and partnered (in work and life) in Florida and am an internet show host.

I recently contacted Christina to thank her for giving one of the greatest gifts I feel one person can for another … to listen and believe. And I also extended an invitation to her to be a guest on ‘Embrace The Journey With Sharon‘ so others can benefit from her generous and knowledgeable spirit. I have found my North Star, a place where I listen and share inspiring, motivating and positive wisdom in our world through the journeys of others. My hope is we all find our North Star and remember those along our journey who shine their light for us to see. Thank you, Christina.”

Sharon Pannone
Life Journey Coach / Internet Show Host
Sarasota, Florida


“I knew within minutes of starting my first training that graphic facilitation was my calling. Incorporating the tools you have developed is such a wonderful addition to the gorgeous conversations I get to hold with my clients.

I find that Visual Coaching is incredibly helpful for people with autism, anxiety and histories of abuse. They see the pieces of their thinking come together in a structured, orderly way bringing clarity, reassurance and relief. Seeing the map and knowing the agenda in advance are critical elements for our success.

It is such an honor to spend time in this space – talking, dreaming, drawing, and guiding people through the process of identifying what works, what doesn’t, what they love, what they don’t, what they want, what they want to be rid of, and what steps they can take to allow it to all come to them – that I sit in awe that I get to do this work. It’s a blissful life.”

Gina Lynette
Certified Visual Coach®
Nashville, TN


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