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Clinical Graphology : An Interpretive Manual for Mental Health Practitioners
Poizner, Annette, MSSW, Ed.D., RSW
Charles C. Thomas, Publishers / Hardcover / 2012-01-01 / 0398087261
Expressive Arts Therapies / Brief Psychotherapy
price: $55.50
218 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Faced with challenging economic times, contemporary clinicians require assessment tools which can accelerate the therapeutic process and facilitate brief psychotherapy. This text introduces graphology, or handwriting analysis, which has been used clinically in Europe for decades alongside other projective techniques. In Clinical Graphology: An Interpretive Manual for Mental Health Practitioners, this clinical application becomes accessible. The text provides a compelling rationale for the clinical evaluation of handwriting and demonstrates how therapists can access rich personal data by examining clients’ graphic behaviors. The text is designed to systematically present clinical graphology in theory and practice. A review of the literature demonstrates that the clinical use of graphology is consistent with the tenets of clinical practice. Graphological interpretive theory is presented in detail, providing a theoretical understanding of those graphic features which are meaningful indices of psychological phenomena. In this context, the inherent congruity between graphological and psychological theory is explored. Diverse handwriting samples, including many of contemporary public figures, illustrate graphic phenomena while demonstrating and encouraging the graphologist’s unique type of visual acuity. To facilitate the reader’s ability to synthesize graphic traits into a holistic personality profile, an interpretive schedule is provided which summarizes graphic indices and their interpretations. A method of assessing handwritings is provided which permits a degree of standardization and so facilitates research. Using this text, readers can integrate graphological theory and cultivate interpretive skills. Providing a comprehensive treatment of the psychology of handwriting, this volume includes a discussion of caveats which guide the clinical use of graphology as well as research considerations and guidelines for sharing graphological findings with clients. To date, clinicians in North America remain unaware of the merits of graphology usage although they continue to seek out methods of assessment which will facilitate their clinical efforts. This volume will demonstrate graphology as a tool which can be applied by those with virtually any theoretical orientation or practice model, speaking to the interests of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, art therapists, vocational counselors, pastoral counselors, and naturopaths, and paraprofessionals.


Foreword by Lois Vaisman MSW, LCSW.



What Is Graphology?

Theoretical Postulates of Graphology

What Graphology Measures


1. Graphology in Psychotherapy

Graphology as a Therapeutic Tool

Graphology and Brief Therapy

2. On Seeing and Knowing: An Overview of the Graphologist’s Craft

Guiding Principles





3. Anatomy of the Page

The Horizontal Plane

Leftward and Rightward Movements in Handwriting

Past, Present and Future in Handwriting

Orientation to the Right or to the Left




Formation of Individual Letters


The Vertical Plane


Interlinear Spacing

Size of Letters

The Third Dimension

Primary Pressure

Secondary Pressure

4. Anatomy of the Stroke

Graphic Styles

Circular Connective Forms

Mixed Forms of Connections


Style Value







Determining Legibility

Developmental Level

5. Symbolism in Handwriting

Identity and the Signature

Symbols Denoting Human Interest

Symbols Denoting Talents, Proclivities, and Interests

Symbols Found with Some Frequency in Handwriting

Idiosyncratic Symbols Found in Handwriting

Idiosyncratic Patterns of Movement

Other Symbols with Specific Clinical Significance

6. Analyzing Handwriting

Securing Appropriate Handwritings for Assessment

Preparation of the Handwriting Sample

Steps Involved in Performing a Graphological Assessment

Assessing Overall Impression


Interpretation of Graphic Indices

Using the Graphology Assessment Form

A Note about Skill Acquisition

Graphology Assessment Form

7. Guidelines for Sharing Graphological Findings with Psychotherapy Clients

Presenting the Graphological Findings

The Format of Feedback

How to Share Findings with the Client

The Dialogue

Individual Considerations

8. Researching the Clinical Use of Graphology Using a Qualitative Research Design

Annette Poizner and Mary Alice Guttman

Research Design



Client Procedure

Data Collection

Emergent Themes from Interviews with Clients



Affirmation of Personal Strengths

Other Themes

Emergent Themes from Interviews with Therapists


Validity of Profiles

Personal Affirmation


Therapists’ Perceptions of Graphology’s Use

Validating Therapeutic Insights about Clients’ Problems

Providing an External Perspective



Appendix A: Graphological Interpretation Schedule

Appendix B: Demonstrating Graphological Assessment

Macroanalysis of Jane’s Handwriting Sample

Microanalysis of Jane’s Handwriting Sample

Synthesizing All Graphic Features and Interpretations

Review of Feedback Session



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