Annette Poizner
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Annette Poizner, MSSW, Ed.D., RSW, is a Columbia-trained therapist in private practice, a community educator and author of Clinical Graphology: An Interpretive Manual for Mental Health Practitioners. Her doctoral dissertation, completed at the University of Toronto, explored the use of graphology (handwriting analysis) within psychotherapy. She has presented on the psychology of handwriting at the annual conference of the Canadian Psychological Association and in a range of other academic and professional contexts. Her practice has her using handwriting analysis and projective personality assessment within psychotherapy. Her work has been featured in dailies across Canada and in Reader's Digest. For additional publications, visit

Additionally, she has worked with a graphic designer to produce a 20 panel display Signature Traits, An Exploration of Signature and Self, designed to motivate young people to develop their signatures. The panels are currently on display at pubic libraries in Toronto and are available free of charge for use in classrooms, community centers and other venues.

Entries by Annette Poizner

Your Kid May Need Handwriting After All

(4) Comments | Posted February 12, 2016 | 10:51 AM

On a quiet Friday night right before Christmas, Jane Corbin was finishing up her final edits on an article. A chime signaled an incoming email, one which requested the password for her Yahoo account. She mindlessly complied. And then all hell broke loose. Her email account snapped shut....

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Handwrite Your Resolutions For A Creative Way To Commit

(1) Comments | Posted December 31, 2015 | 10:42 AM

With the start of 2016, you've resolved that this is your year for change. Now, how to make that commitment stick?

You've probably got a few tricks up your sleeve. I doubt any of those strategies will have you writing your plan down by hand and then signing it....

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What Justin Trudeau's Unusual Signature Reveals

(32) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 10:57 AM

When you have more than a passing interest in handwriting, a leader's signature, irrelevant to most, becomes fascinating. I study handwriting and other non-verbal ways people communicate, all as a means to understand those in our midst. Insights emerge when we take a closer look at Justin Trudeau's elaborate signature....

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Why You Should Get Your Kid to Handwrite

(4) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 12:48 PM

Adult colouring books have taken off, reaching bestseller status on Amazon, and that's for many weeks now. While colouring may be relaxing, real benefits accrue whenever we apply pen to paper. So in an age characterized by digital everything, don't be surprised that some people are trying to...

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What Women Can Learn From the Signatures of Gwyneth and Marilyn

(23) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 4:15 PM

After 10 years of marriage. Gwyneth Paltrow is fielding plenty of questions about her divorce from Rocker Chris Martin. She recently explained "I had built my life on trying to be all things to all people, and I just couldn't do it anymore." Many women know a thing...

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Bill Cosby's Signature Tells Us More About Him Than You Think

(10) Comments | Posted November 28, 2014 | 4:46 PM

Recent allegations involving Bill Cosby and Jian Ghomeshi remind us that there can be important discrepancies between public image and private truth. Because I'm fascinated by handwriting and what it tells us about the writer who produced it, I think about this discrepancy in graphic terms. Can handwriting help us...

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Ellen DeGeneres Is Generous: Her Name and Signature Say it All

(1) Comments | Posted October 27, 2013 | 11:07 AM

Recently, Ellen DeGeneres gave a $10,000 gift to a waitress who treated two National Guard soldiers to their lunch. This act was yet another example of Ellen's generosity, standing alongside the dozens of causes to which she lends her name. Speaking of which, psychological researchers might find a...

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Can Joan Rivers' Signature Help Us Understand the Separatists?

(10) Comments | Posted October 5, 2013 | 9:52 AM

The Parti Québecois' proposed Charter of Values has some angry, others simply confused. Many minorities are innately sensitive to the needs of other minorities. And then we have the PQ who want to ban civic employees from wearing religious headgear at work. What's that about? I can't help but wonder...

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What is Your Handwriting Style Saying? Martin Luther King's Spells Freedom

(0) Comments | Posted September 13, 2013 | 5:43 PM

The recent anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s landmark speech reminds us of his legacy. In my world -- that of a clinician who likes to understand the psyche by studying handwriting and other markers of personality -- I say we can learn about King from his speeches and letters,...

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What Paula Deen's Handwriting Teaches Us

(14) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 12:40 PM

Paula Deen has admitted to using language that most would call racist, and now her world has officially turned upside down. She probably gets it now: what you say is more important than what you cook. Her type 2 diabetes has likely made her more mindful of what she puts...

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How Lance Armstrong's Signature Should Have Tipped Us Off

(12) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 4:12 PM

The Lance Armstrong debacle continues to unfold and now the fallen hero clunks into the dénouement. Watching confessions of ongoing steroid use throughout an illustrious career in professional sports is somehow riveting. Is it because we are keen to witness the emergence of a long-denied truth? Maybe we are bearing...

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Barbra Streisand's Signature: The Mark of Success

(2) Comments | Posted October 24, 2012 | 5:41 PM

At the age of 70, Barbra Streisand is back in the limelight, and with that we can ponder her unusual success. How many celebrities remain in the public eye over the course of five decades? How many singers can command those ticket prices for concerts? And how come we never...

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Does Katie Couric's Signature Reveal Her Eating Disorder?

(2) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 2:46 PM

Katie Couric's recent disclosure about her struggles with bulimia perhaps took some by surprise. Yet, for graphologists, Couric's history of inner strife follows from an issue strongly indicated in her signature.

One variable examined by clinicians who analyze handwriting is the degree to which any given handwriting conforms...

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What Rob Ford's Signature Tells us About The Toronto Mayor

(23) Comments | Posted August 23, 2012 | 5:55 PM

In the wake of reports that Toronto's mayor has been distracted at the wheel, only one question remains: why won't Rob Ford use a driver? One look at his signature provides the only answer that hasn't been put forward, an answer not but forth by his aides who...

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What an Athlete's Signature Says About Olympic Psychology

(2) Comments | Posted August 10, 2012 | 5:15 PM

The Olympics are coming to a close and, once again, swimmer Michael Phelps leaves having set new world records. His recent performance takes me back 40 years. It was 1972 when his predecessor won seven gold medals, the most that had ever been won by an athlete over the course...

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What Osama bin Laden's Signature Tells Us About Evil

(11) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 8:00 AM

A spate of recent murders leave us grappling to understand. So much ink is spilled as pundits and experts alike try to explain the unexplainable. A different type of ink trail can also inform our understanding of evil, a topic that surely defies an answer from any one source.

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What Donald Trump's Signature Says About Him

(5) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 12:03 PM

What's with Donald Trump's hairdo? Freud said, "betrayal oozes out of the individual at every pore... If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips." If Freud was right, Trump's forward-thrusting comb-over must be meaningful. I will assert that we can learn from his signature trait... and...

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What Handwriting Says About You (And Seven Celebrities)

(5) Comments | Posted July 13, 2012 | 11:48 AM

Junior is at sleepover camp and you are tracking his activities: a trickle of thumb written texts, a handful of acronyms and emoticons. Do you ever feel nostalgic, remembering handwritten letters from yesteryear? Or, like many, do you consider handwriting obsolete, preferring a clean, sharp font to Junior's illegible scrawl?

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