Society Conference Reports for 2004
January 31, 2004
Morning: The Pleasure of Writing
Canadian graphologist Graziella Pettinati is Assistant Director of the International Graphological Colloquium, a graphology teacher at Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy, and principal of The Scripto Center for Handwriting Study. In her morning lecture, she discussed her method of helping both children and adults to develop good writing habits and increase legibility. Using a series of natural movement exercises, she teaches her students to write without writing words. Exercises include such activities as finger painting and swirling movements with scarves to mimic writing loops, and asking children to reproduce patterns with stickers for space management. While the exercises must be performed daily for improvement, they are all short, lasting no more than five minutes. Another learning factor Ms. Pettinati discussed was how to determine true left or right-handedness in a child, and how to establish the correct hand position for holding a pen or pencil.
Afternoon: Learning Differences: How to See Them in Handwriting
Ms. Pettinati addressed individual learning differences, and proposed that children with similar learning styles do better when grouped together. When instructing teachers, she emphasizes looking at the letters "m," "n," "r," and "h," among other factors, to determine three basic learning styles. These are:
A combination of arcades, angles, and garlands within a handwriting reflects the student's ability to use a variety of different learning styles.
- Constructive - Arcade writers who need security, logical explanation, and consistency
- Analytical - Angular writers who are efficient, intellectual, and less "feeling" than the Constructive learner
- Instinctive - Garland writers with a quick and intuitive learning style
May 1, 2004
The Sandwich Child
Professional graphologist and ASPG founding member Renata Propper studied with Daniel and Florence Anthony at The New School, as well as with Dr. Hans Knobloch, and has published articles on Marie Antoinette, Picasso, and Dr. Knobloch in the ASPG Journal.
Renata discussed how the personalities of sandwich children, those born in mid-birth order are affected by their siblings. Many scenarios are possible, but in general, child #1 is jealous of the competition from #2, #2 looks up to and loves #1, and when #3 is born, #2 can become displaced in a kind of nowhere zone. Depending on the natural temperament of the sandwich child and the circumstances of his environment, the situation can have several results. The most common is that #2 constantly seeks attention to make up for the lack of nurturing. He may overcompensate, or be extremely charming. Or, if the other siblings are dynamic, he may become crushed, angry, and depressed. Renatta showed handwritings of several families to demonstrate the different characteristics of each member. As a special case study, she also presented the handwritings of all four Bronte siblings for discussion.
Bipolar and Autistic Children
Virginia is a professional graphologist who studied with Patricia Siegel and Lois Vaisman at The New School, and also with Felix Klein. She is the author of Exposing Drug Addiction in the Handwriting of Adolescents and Young Adults.
Virginia presented handwritings of children with bipolar and autistic disorders to demonstrate evidence of their special difficulties with communication, social understanding, and dramatic mood swings. There were marked differences in the writings of "normal" but emotionally disturbed children and those with autistic disorders. Austistic children seemed unable to write in a small script, had difficulty separating individual words from a string of letters, and often made extra strokes although both autistic and bipolar children seemed to favor the latter. Bipolar writings clearly demonstrated a much better understanding of words, language, and organization. In fact, studies show that these children tend to have high IQs. Other sets of handwritings from autistic children showed personalities ranging from passive to aggressive. Most importantly, Virginia reported that autism is on the rise, with no known underlying cause.
November 6, 2004
A Case Study of How Graphology was Used in the Merger of Several Hospitals
Marie-Thérèse Christians is a professional graphologist specializing in personnel selection, a handwriting identification expert, Vice-President of the Belgium Graphological Association, and Secretary General of the European Graphological Association.
Marie-Thérèse presented a study of her work during the merger of six hospitals. She discussed the process used to help her client choose a new general manager from among the 34 existing ones, as well as how best to assign the other administrators. All candidates underwent the same tests, which consisted of psychological/technical tests (to determine personality and leadership qualities), graphoanalysis, a two-hour interview, and an assessment of problem-solving abilities through the use of three case studies. She showed several handwriting examples from the candidates, and explained why some were better suited than others for specific jobs. At the outset, many of the physicians competing for the general manager position were extremely resistant to the idea that graphology could provide any insight, and a few were outwardly antagonistic. Marie-Thérèse stated that one of the most gratifying outcomes of the project was that when the results were in, the accuracy of her findings had won over her detractors to the value of graphology.
The Value of the Shadow in Handwriting
Elaine is a professional graphologist who applies her skills to personnel selection, career guidance, and counseling, and often evaluates writings for British TV and radio. She is the outgoing Chairperson of The British Institute of Graphology and the new editor of their journal.
Elaine spoke about the "shadow" in personality, how it is revealed in handwriting, and how it can be used in a positive way. She described the shadow as a backpack of traits we all carry with us. In the backpack are traits we learn to subdue as we grow older qualities our parents disapproved of, or behaviors that caused a negative response. We declare these traits unacceptable and banish them to our subconscious. Elaine maintains that recognizing these shadows opens a path to self-understanding and enables us to use the repressed energy that shadows create in more helpful ways. In handwriting, repressed shadows are often revealed by contradictions in form, such as a muddy stroke or flooded middle zones. She showed examples of negative shadows in the writings of Saddam Hussein and Jeffrey Dahmer. More balanced writings are an indication that shadow energy has been put to positive use. Elaine completed her presentation by taking the audience through a visualization exercise designed to identify individual shadows and explore their meaning.