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Annette Poizner

Therapist, Author

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.
Gregor Schuster via Getty Images

Handwrite Your Resolutions For A Creative Way To Commit

Back in 1982, Cialdini wrote, "Something special happens when people personally put their commitments on paper: they live up to what they have written down." That's why change guru Tony Robbins recommends that people commit their goals to paper. And that is why it would be worth your time to write down your resolutions for change, and to sign the page.
12/31/2015 11:42 EST

Why You Should Get Your Kid to Handwrite

Recent research confirms that those bringing pen and paper back into daily life are on the right track. A study performed at the UCLA showed that jotting notes by hand improves a student's ability to conceptually understand material covered in a lecture, as well as to recall facts, compared to students who took notes on a laptop.
08/28/2015 12:49 EDT
Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images

What Women Can Learn From the Signatures of Gwyneth and Marilyn

What's most distinctive and troubling to the graphologist is the way Marilyn contorted certain letter formations. What of that ugly claw-like loop that she made when forming a lower zone for the y in her name? And how about that aggressive-looking final stroke on the M that stabs down, penetrating the baseline of the writing and effectively creating a very crude and ugly image of coitus.
01/29/2015 05:15 EST

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

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 clue to her generosity in her name.
10/27/2013 11:07 EDT

Can Joan Rivers' Signature Help Us Understand the Separatists?

As a psychotherapist, I'm always intrigued by the question of what makes people tick. It's always most important to listen and to ask, but the truth is that people tell a lot about themselves indirectly. Two signatures -- Joan Rivers' and that of former Bloc Québecois leader Gilles Duceppe -- gave me food for thought, as I pondered the psychology of the Separatist.
10/05/2013 09:51 EDT

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

One premise of handwriting analysis is that people express their primary orientation in life, be it to the spiritual or the material, expressing an affinity with the vertical or the horizontal, every time they pick up a pen. Some writers strongly emphasize the width of handwriting. These are the people who live off their senses and have gifts in realms where the senses reign strong.
09/13/2013 05:43 EDT

What Paula Deen's Handwriting Teaches Us

Paula Deen has admitted to using language that most would call racist, and now her world has officially turned upside down. As a graphologist, I'm intrigued by what we might learn about people by taking a look at their handwriting. Paula Deen is an interesting case in point.
06/27/2013 12:40 EDT

How Lance Armstrong's Signature Should Have Tipped Us Off

As a therapist who looks at the handwriting of psychotherapy clients in a quest to understand something of the mysterious realm of self and soul, I turned to handwriting in order to better understand Lance Armstrong and his current situation.
01/18/2013 05:32 EST

Barbra Streisand's Signature: The Mark of Success

I'm a graphologist and a clinician; I tend to get to know a little bit about people by peering at their handwriting. Looking at Barbara Streisand's signature, we do find the theme of duality. Barbra's first name (representing the private self) is scripted in one style of writing whereas her last name (representing her professional self) is scripted in a completely different style of writing.
10/24/2012 05:04 EDT

Does Katie Couric's Signature Reveal Her Eating Disorder?

Note how she loyally reproduces the copybook script she learned in school and, in so doing, shows us that, first and foremost, she values fitting in. Such writers, amiable and good-natured, easily lapse into people-pleasing. And they often harbor secret self-negating habits designed to help them keep insecurities at bay.
09/28/2012 05:33 EDT

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

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 provided not by his aides who are rebuffed when they offer to take the wheel, and not by puzzled journalists who conjecture about the issue.
08/23/2012 05:07 EDT

What Osama bin Laden's Signature Tells Us About Evil

The field of graphology, or handwriting analysis, asserts that handwriting, in general, and signatures, specifically, relay information about the identity of the writer. The signature -- chosen as the writer's representative on the page -- often embeds symbols that may tell us about the writer's identifications. Here's what Osama Bin Laden's signature says about his terrible ways.
08/06/2012 08:01 EDT

What Donald Trump's Signature Says About Him

Take a look at Trump's signature. In general, cursive handwriting is comprised of straight lines and loops. But Trump favours straight lines and does away with curves or loops. For the graphologist, roundedness implies emotionality and softer aspects of the personality. But what is the meaning of the straight line?
07/24/2012 12:03 EDT

What Handwriting Says About You (And Seven Celebrities)

What does your handwriting reveal? A lot. It reveals unique facets of your personality, but more importantly, if you are of a certain age, its trace attests to the care and sustained efforts of those who taught you how to write.
07/13/2012 11:48 EDT