Society Conference Reports for 2003
February 1, 2003
Jung and Graphology: Animus and Anima and The Four Psychic Functions
In Anima and Animus, John Beck, a professional graphologist and pending Chairman of the British Institute of Graphology, discussed the bipolar nature in all of us. A man's unconscious psyche working in opposite is ruled by so-called female characteristics, and a woman's unconscious working in opposite is ruled by so-called masculine characteristics. This bi-polarity is revealed in the handwriting. The major part of analyses revolves around how people relate to their opposite psychic sexual function, whether they relate positively and productively, or are in conflict within themselves. In Jung's view, psychic health depends on the balance between our opposites. John Beck gave examples of imbalance in the male and female, with graphological indications of masculine and feminine features. Among them, the golden rule: heavy pressure is a masculine symbol and light pressure is a feminine symbol. He concluded this segment with ideal presentations of the Anima and Animus.
In discussing Jung's Four Psychic Functions, John Beck stated that any reaction in the conscious has an equal and opposite reaction in the unconscious, and vice versa. It is the tension between these opposites that creates Psychic energy. This distinct polarity can be detected by graphologists. He continued his discussion with an explanation of Introversion and Extroversion as well as the four functions: Thinking, Feeling, Sensory, and Intuitive; the graphological indicators for each function; the interrelationship among functions; and the attraction among people with different dominant functions.
March 19, 2003
And, After All, What is a Lie? Tis but the Truth in Masquerade
Dafna Yalon is a professional graphologist, past president of the Society for Scientific Graphology in Israel, coauthor of Towards Scientific Graphology, and editor of Graphology Across Cultures. In this lecture, she discussed honesty as a complex behavior pattern that is unpredictable, relative to different cultures, and subject to the disposition of the analyst, for example, whether he/she is religious or liberal. Ms. Yalon stated that signs of dishonesty are often found in the writings of honest people, and that their existence may be situational. For instance, a person may lie to survive in a bad situation, so it is always important to question why a person has lied. The analyst must also consider that signs of distress go hand-in-hand with signs of dishonesty, i.e., re-touching can be interpreted as insecurity as well as insincerity. Emotional stress often causes problems with stroke or ground rhythm. In addition, writings that are very rigid or too loose may be the result of a learning disability or lack of education.
Ms. Yalon believes that neither of the two basic evaluation systems-counting up a number of certain graphological "dishonesty traits" or the Gestalt system-is sufficient to determine dishonesty in handwriting by itself. The analyst must not judge a handwriting dishonest solely because it contains a number of signs associated with dishonesty. He/she must also take into account their frequency, intensity, and relevance to the entire gestalt.
April 9, 2003
Application of Maslow's Theory of Needs to Graphology
Michal Naftali is a professional handwriting analyst and graphology teacher in Israel. In this lecture, she discussed how the theories of the humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow can be utilized in graphology. Maslow believed that there is a five-part hierarchy of psychological needs. From lowest to highest, these needs are those for Basic Physiological requirements (food, sleep, etc.); Security (order and stability); Love and Belonging (family acceptance and societal integration); Appreciation (respect and positive feedback from others); and Self-Actualization (achieving potential). Applied to graphology, Ms. Naftali suggests that an individual's dominant need influences the basic form level of his writing. Because different life situations, whether psychological or physiological, can change the intensity of needs, Ms. Naftali asserts that the appearance of a given handwriting will also be affected by such changes.
May 3, 2003
Dr. James Keehner
The Personality Assessment System and Handwriting
Psychologist Dr. James Keener, a colleague of Thea Stein Lewinson, described the Personality Assessment System (PAS) in terms of its intellectual, emotional, and social dimensions, and explained how it can be adapted for use with the Lewinson-Zubin Scales. The PAS was developed by Dr. John Gittenger from the Wechsler test battery. It is a trait development theory that follows the evolution of personality, and holds that there are three innate response states: intellectual, emotional, and social. These three innate dimensions are on three continuums: Externalizer - Internalizer (intellectual), Regulated - Flexible (emotional) and Role Adaptive - Role Uniform (social). The theory maintains that individuals come into the world with these responses, and are basically wired to be one of each of these three components. During a person's early growth, the environment affects and alters his basic personality (Compensation). Later, after leaving home, a person learns to further change his behavior on the surface (Modification). Using the Lewinson-Zubin scales, Dr. Keener demonstrated how these qualities are used to identify bonded writings (introverted, regulated, uniform, and compensated) and released writings (extroverted, flexible, adaptive, and uncompensated).
November 1, 2003
Using the Star-Wave Test Assessment with Psychiatric Patients
Art Nechampkin presented the Star-Wave Test as a valid assessment for adult psychiatric patients. An art therapist in a major psychiatric institution, he uses it daily in a multi-cultural population with more than 90% patient compliance. It is an aid to diagnosing patients when they first arrive on the unit, acceptable to staff, and easy to understand. He showed 27 examples, together with handwriting samples or other artwork, and this was evaluated along with the patients' diagnoses or problems. Areas for future study and research were suggested. A summary of how to evaluate the Star-Wave Test was graphically explained.
Numbers, Wings, and Arrows: Using the Enneagram in Handwriting Analysis
Lisa DeBoer presented an overview of the Enneagram, a dynamic system of nine personality types. Although not as widely recognized as the Myers-Briggs system, it is similarly useful as a structure for grouping behavioral types and can be applied to graphology. The Enneagram reflects the range of development in personality from healthy to unhealthy levels, and is focused on the unconscious motivations that prompt each personality type to behave in certain patterns. It is also important to note that each individual's basic needs are fulfilled in varying degrees. The most dominant need is identifiable in handwritings at average or lower (stress) levels. Lisa suggested that Usha Mullan's analysis of the Enneagram as applied to graphology is particularly useful for its detailed and in-depth analysis of the connections between graphological indicators and the nine personality types.
Alan Levine explained that graphologists must keep dysgraphia in mind when examining children with troubled handwritings. Dysgraphia may occur in a "pure" form, but is more commonly associated with dyslexia and/or ADHD. One widely accepted theory ascribes the cause to a form of neurological "faulty wiring." A multitude of neuromuscular malfunctions can result in dysgraphia, including impaired memory and graphomotor memory, fine and gross motor coordination, problems with development of automatic motor habits, attention deficits, and others.
Some of the graphological characteristics of dysgraphia include awkward gestalt, difficulty with smoothly rounded forms, misspellings, a strong tendency to make a particular letter the same way each time, slow writing, patches, erasures and cross outs, problems with alignment, and a tortured appearance to many individual letters.
Children with this disorder usually have normal or greater than average intelligence. Some are even gifted speakers. However, they have great difficulty in developing automatic writing habits. Writing becomes a slow process, the esthetic appearance of the writing is usually poor, and often causes embarrassment. Thoughts and ideas cannot be fully expressed on paper. Consequently, the context of the writing is clipped, simplistic, and unrepresentative of the child's true intellectual capabilities. All sorts of emotional, self-esteem, family and educational problems may occur as a result. These children can be helped, but rarely cured. Alan concluded by describing ways in which children with dysgraphia can be assisted.
Handwriting Identification Workshop
Patricia Siegel, President of our Society, presented four cases of forensic handwriting identification for participants to evaluate. Examples included disguised handwriting, genuine handwritings that were denied, and an anonymous note written with the non-dominant hand. She reviewed the identification process, construction of exhibits, key characteristics of disguise, and the use of diagramming in determining unconscious consistencies in spatial relationships between the known and questioned writing.
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