Annette Poizner, MSSW, Ed.D., RSW, has published a textbook for mental health professionals that deserves to be on the Recommended Reading List of every graphologist and psychologist. Undoubtedly, Clinical Graphology, An Interpretive Manual for Mental Health Practitioners, will contribute to the ongoing efforts of professional handwriting analysts to see graphology viewed as a serious practice.
Using a style and syntax that mental health professionals will be able to relate to, Annette explains what gestalt graphology is and how it can be used as a significant tool in their practice.
Some graphologists will take issue with the statement, “Graphology cannot be considered an assessment tool, since it lacks the statistical support to merit such use.” But, having said that, Annette goes on to explain why graphology can be considered a therapeutic tool, in part because the client participates in the discussion of his or her handwriting and learns what it means in terms of his personality and behavior.
She also proposes that graphology be used along with other assessment methods, and shares that, with her own clients, she requests projective drawings, a handwritten essay, and the client’s 10 earliest memories. These can be done along with other standard personality measures.
Having laid the groundwork, Annette moves into the Anatomy of the Page, calling on Pulver’s interpretation of space, followed by the Anatomy of the Stroke. Graphologists will recognize the names of many important early researchers, including Crepieux-Jamin, Roman, and Victor throughout the text.
Using signatures of well-known people, both famous and infamous, the basic principles of analysis are introduced, along with important information on how to interpret and synthesize graphological findings. A “Graphology Assessment Form” organizes into categories many aspects of handwriting that need to be considered for the analysis, and will be helpful in assisting the novice know what to look for. Appendix A provides greater detail for interpretation, and Appendix B demonstrates the actual analysis process, step by step.
The information in Clinical Graphology is not new to gestalt graphologists, but it is presented in a way that will promote greater acceptance with psychologists, whose approval we have courted for at least fifty years. Annette is a longtime certified member of AHAF.
President, American Handwriting Analysis Foundation