While some may think of handwriting analysis as a cheap parlor trick, it is known to have Jewish roots that actually impact psychology and psychoanalysis in all parts of the world except North America.
For example, in Israel it is a highly respected science that therapist Annette Poizner, who has a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University in New York and a Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology from OISE/University of Toronto, has spent twenty years studying.
“We all know that the early pioneers of psychology and psychotherapy were Jewish, but an interest in handwriting preceded that by millennia – and may have led to the creation of the field of psychology in the first place,” explains Poizner.
“The Hebrew alphabet is unique,” says Poizner. “Every letter has a shape that relates to the concept of that letter (see photo). The form of letters is meaningful, not random like some languages.”
“When I applied for the Jerusalem Fellowships they insisted you hand-write the application. It’s very common in Israel to have handwriting analysis for any type of application,” says Poizner.
After her intensive experience in Israel, seeing the benefits of graphology in a therapy setting, she came back to North America and decided to study psychology. Her faculty advisor immediately tried to discourage her: “I have to tell you that graphology has virtually no place in the field of psychology in North America.”
Poizner set about trying to create change, bringing Israeli know-how and the wealth of Jewish teaching on the subject to a clinical audience who was not initially receptive. And today, through her textbook and through talks to professional and non-professional audiences, she is beginning to see change.
Her patients would be the first to say that graphology works, cutting through barriers and making counseling sessions more efficient and productive.
“If you can analyze people, there’s a real novelty effect: ‘Wow, that’s so interesting.’ If you can tell them meaningful accurate feedback that actually illuminates the path of what needs to happen, you have saved many sessions of ‘getting to know you,’ ‘let me tell you my story,’” says Poizner.
Today, Poizner sees her mission as one of spreading the word, letting the general public and practitioners alike know that graphology is more than just hocus-pocus and that as a science, it is a serious tool for harnessing ancient wisdom towards modern self-realization.