Graphology in Theory and Practice: From Analysis to Synthesis

Many features of a person's handwriting need to be assessed before the personality of the writer emerges. After studying with care all the ways in which elements of a piece of handwriting combine to mirror the writer however, the graphologist is often aware of an instant in time when a true reflection of a real person has been achieved. When this happens, it is a magical moment.

But, before we can venture confidently into the area of "drawing" a character through the medium of graphology, it is essential for us to learn as much as we can about human nature - also to realise that we can never learn too much.

Understanding the way people tick is an art as well as a science of course. This means, in effect, learning about people, how they think and feel, on quite a number of levels or dimensions. Psychology has its place here clearly but almost equally important in my view is direct, compassionate observation and personal experience of human nature, simply through living one's life. Drama, poetry, art, music and literature - not necessarily "high brow" forms - all contribute to the sum total of our understanding of what it means to be a human being.

When it comes to psychology theory however I have found Carl Gustav Jung's work to be especially illuminating with regard to understanding how the human psyche functions. Jung's unique grasp and ability to describe the meaning and importance of symbols and their role and function in the human unconscious also happens to play a particularly salient and valuable part in learning to understand graphology theory. (1)

All theory aside however, it is very important for the budding graphologist to be as sensitive and tactful as possiblewhen committing to paper (or to e-mail) his or her interpretation of a piece of handwriting - especially when dealing directly with the writer.

Whenever we are on the receiving end of a handwriting analysis - of any type of analysis actually - the whole process can seem quite scary. Somehow clinical and cold.

More than 200 years ago, Wordsworth wrote in his poem "The Tables Turned":

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:--
We murder to dissect.

At the same time, if we want to understand something thoroughly, we must first deconstruct it. This applies to people as much as to things. We need to bear in mind also however that an unexamined belief in the power of analysis alone may limit - even destroy - our creative insight; the very power that allows us to interpret what we have dissected in the first place!

Wordsworth's point is that by pulling things to pieces in order to understand them (and this includes people of course) we run the risk of somehow destroying the beauty of its essential being. Unfortunately this could be said to apply occasionally to the analysis of handwriting. And it is for this reason that I feel quite strongly that synthesis should follow on naturally from the analytical process.

In practical terms this synthesis means that, after all the important features in a piece of handwriting have been identified and discussed, we should aim to "re-assemble" the many and various characteristics of the writer, as a whole person. In other words, to provide a realistic portrait of the writer that also happens to be a holistic one.

So, as a sort of concluding act the graphologist should stand back perceptually and view his or her "portrait". It can then be seen from a wider (and hopefully more compassionate) perspective than would ever be possible if one were in purely analytical mode. This way creative insight is allowed to function and flower more freely. A kinder, more non-judgemental - and generally more rounded and accurate - approach to the work is thereby allowed to prevail.

(1) C.G. Jung: "Man and His Symbols".

Author's Bio: 

I trained as a graphologist during the late 1980’s via a 2-year distance learning course facilitated by a respected British graphologist who was then about to retire. My interest in handwriting analysis began whilst researching aspects of visual symbolism at Goldsmiths College, London, where I had gained an Honours Degree. Over subsequent years I have worked with companies, large and small, as well as for hundreds of individual people who have found me through my website. I am especially interested in the therapeutic applications and potential for graphology and, to this end, I have been involved in investigations into the diagnostic applications for graphology with a practising British homeopath. I have also contributed articles on graphology-related subjects to periodicals and national newspapers, including the Daily Mirror and The Daily Express. My approach is to bring "feeling" as well as logic and systematic analysis to my work, in a holistic way. I aim to apply two different but complementary ways of looking at things to each of my assignments, within a constructive and helpful framework.