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Frequently Asked Questions

About Handwriting Analysis

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Many thanks to all of our visitors and students who have e-mailed, faxed or called with inquiries about Handwriting Analysis! Our most commonly asked questions are answered here.

  1. What is handwriting analysis?
  2. Do the terms graphology, handwriting analysis, and Graphoanalysis mean the same thing?
  3. What can be told about a person from his handwriting?
  4. What can one NOT tell from handwriting analysis?
  5. How does handwriting reveal personality?
  6. How accurate is handwriting analysis?
  7. How old is handwriting analysis?
  8. Is handwriting analysis a science or an art?
  9. Who uses handwriting analysis?
  10. What about people who print?
  11. What about people who have a combination of both printing and cursive?
  12. Why does my handwriting change from day to day?
  13. What can be told from a person's signature?
  14. My signature is illegible. What does that mean?
  15. Why is my signature different than how I write everything else?
  16. Do you analyze the writing of a left-handed person the same as a right-handed person?
  17. Why do left-handed people slant their letters backwards?
  18. Are there "good" and "bad" traits?
  19. Is handwriting analysis an invasion of privacy?
  20. How prevalent is handwriting analysis in companies for employee screening?
  21. Can handwriting reveal a person's honesty?
  22. Can you tell if a person is a criminal by his handwriting?
  23. Why don't people write the way they were taught in elementary school?
  24. Is handwriting analysis the same for all languages?
  25. Can I really change my personality by changing my handwriting?
  26. I have a tendency to imitate other peoples' handwriting. What does this mean?
  27. If I see writing on a daily basis which is uniform and attractive, I mimic the style. Does this show a lack of personal style?
  28. After copying a style for a while, I can also mimic signatures. I wouldn't say they're perfect, but they do greatly resemble one another.
  29. Do police departments use the services of certified handwriting analysts?
  30. Are handwriting analysts used by corporations when there is a theft and they are trying to find the culprit?
  31. Is there ample work for a handwriting analyst, or is it very limited?
  32. I sometimes forget to cross my t's and dot my i's. What does this mean?
  33. I'm wondering about the correlation between handwriting analysis and the Myers-Briggs personality typing system. Are you able to identify personality type based on handwriting analysis?
  34. If I forwarded you by e-mail a scan of a handwriting sample, can you answer some specific questions about certain letters I have?
  35. One graphologist told me that if the trait is in the handwriting, then it's a reality; another said it's possible to carry only the trait and never act on it. Please let me know your thoughts on this.
  36. Do you know of any specific criminal traits in writing? If I scanned some short samples of writing and e-mailed them to you, could you look them over quickly and point out any criminal, mental illness, or anti-social identifying traits?
  37. When a person is writing about something they like, such as football, or a sport, or even chess or gambling, is there any way to determine if they are good at this by reading the traits?
  38. Can you find out what job one might excel at by graphology traits?
  39. Can I forward you some written samples so you can show me how to identify criminal and other important traits in social work?
  40. I am quite interested in your book "Change Your Handwriting Change Yourself" (sorry if wrong name) but want to know how it is different than the dozens of other books on the market.
  41. Some people's handwriting looks alike. Is it really?
  42. How drastically will my personality change if I change my handwriting?
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Q1:   What is handwriting analysis?
A:   It is a scientific method of identifying, evaluating, and understanding a person's personality via the strokes and patterns revealed by his handwriting. It is not document examining, which is when a person examines a sample of writing to determine the author. Document examining is often used in forgery cases. In document examining, no comment of character or personality is derived from the handwriting.

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Q2:   Do the terms graphology, handwriting analysis, and Graphoanalysis mean the same thing?
A:   Not in America. Although, graphology and handwriting analysis have been used for centuries to describe evaluating personality through the study of handwriting, a few distinctions have arisen in the past 50 years.
  • The term handwriting analysis is the umbrella term that describes all forms and theories about understanding character from handwriting.
  • The term Graphoanalysis is a trademarked term that refers to the scientific American form of handwriting analysis pioneered by Milton Bunker. Although these trait stroke methods taught by Bunker are not different from what dozens of authors around the world have published in the past 50 years, the term Graphoanalyst is used to distinguish those people who choose to associate with the company that holds the trademark.
  • Also, the term graphology has come to symbolize an affiliation with the more holistic or Gestalt approach to handwriting analysis. Some graphologists disregard the trait-stroke method completely.

Most experienced analysts agree that combining the many schools of thought gives the analyst the most flexibility and resources that result in a more accurate personality assessment.

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Q3:   What can be told about a person from his handwriting?
A:   Handwriting reveals hundreds of elements of the person's "personality and character," which include glimpses into the subconscious mind, emotional responsiveness, intellect, energy, fears and defenses, motivations, imagination, integrity, aptitudes, and even sex drives and issues of trust. There are over 100 individual traits revealed and an unlimited number of combinations.

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Q4:   What can one NOT tell from handwriting analysis?
A:   It cannot identify age, gender, race, religion, whether a person is right- or left-handed, or the future.

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Q5:   How does handwriting reveal personality?
A:   Handwriting is often referred to as "brain writing." Research scientists in the fields of neuro-science have categorized neuro-muscular movement tendencies as they are correlated with specific observable personality traits. Each personality trait is represented by a neurological brain pattern. Each neurological brain pattern produces a unique neuro-muscular movement that is the same for every person who has that personality trait. When writing, these tiny movements occur unconsciously. Each written movement or stroke reveals a specific personality trait.

Handwriting analysts identify these strokes as they appear in handwriting and describe the corresponding personality trait. Handwriting is like body language, but is more specific and is frozen for a more detailed analysis of our unconscious movements.

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Q6:   How accurate is handwriting analysis?
A:   It is only as accurate as the analyst is talented. Most professionals claim to be 85-95% accurate. Compared to other personality assessment tools and tests, handwriting analysis is sometimes more accurate and much more revealing. When answering psychological questions in person or on paper, a person may consciously or unconsciously answer according to how he thinks he should answer rather than giving an honest reply. The clinical research is divided as to the validity of handwriting analysis. Again, it depends on who you ask.

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Q7:   How old is handwriting analysis?
A:   Research has found references to handwriting analysis as far back as 4500 BC. In 99 AD, the Roman historian Suetonius studied Emperor Augustus' personality from his handwriting. The first handwriting analysis book was published in 1622 by Camildo Baldo. Most pioneering research was performed before 1929 in Europe. The modern scientific method of analyzing individual strokes in handwriting began in 1915 by Milton Bunker.

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Q8:   Is handwriting analysis a science or an art?
A:   It is a clinical science. The Library of Congress categorized it as a credible social science in 1981. It is not a hard science like chemistry. It falls under the same category as psychology.

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Q9:   Who uses handwriting analysis?
A:   Anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of themselves and others:
  • Individuals for self-improvement:   they gain a better understanding of themselves and often incorporate aspects of grapho-therapy to change bad habits.
  • Single people to aid in the selection of compatible partners.
  • Couples to improve current relationships through better understanding and communication.
  • All people of all ages in the work force for career counseling.
  • Employers for personnel selection.
  • The courts for forgery and questioned documents.
  • Attorneys to aid the jury selection process.
  • Law enforcement in investigating evidence involving handwritten notes.
  • Businesses for credit rating assistance.
  • Psychologists for personality evaluation and therapy.

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Q10:   What about people who print?
A:   It is a generality, but worth answering. People who print have put up a barrier to keep the world from getting to know them. They do not easily express their inner-most feelings. People who print take longer to experience intimacy and tend to have a strong external protective mental shell that is often seen as confidence.

It is estimated that over half of men in the United States prefer to print rather than write cursive. This is the same tendency that says "I'd rather sit here in pain rather than express my feelings."

Some men learn at an early age to keep their insecure feelings hidden from the world. And yes, they do often have to print because of their messy handwriting, but the answer still applies.

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Q11:   What about people who have a combination of both printing and cursive?
A:   People that mix and match both cursive and print are quite normal. It indicates a tendency to be in a hurry and be flexible given unusual circumstances. Too much printing - or block printing - indicates a barrier to intimacy and inability to express feelings.

Mixing printing and cursive really isn't an unusual event. In fact, it is so common that taken by itself, it's meaning is not terribly significant. We must look at the rest of the writing.

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Q12:   Why does my handwriting change from day to day?
A:   Certain strokes represent emotions and moods. As your feelings and moods change from minute to minute, those corresponding particular strokes will change. However, the basic character-defining traits will remain the same. And, if you "really" have a total variation in handwriting styles, you are one moody person and should cut down on the sugar snacks.

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Q13:   What can be told from a person's signature?
A:   The signature represents what a person wants the world to see or what he wants to be, an image that may or may not be the same as the inner self. Because a signature contains only a few letters, it does not provide enough information for the analyst to make a complete and accurate evaluation.

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Q14:   My signature is illegible. What does that mean?
A:   It means people have a hard time reading your name. Seriously, illegible handwriting can mean a number of things. In general, an illegible signature reveals a desire to be seen but not known, keeping things private.

You may want to keep your true identity hidden. It could also mean you are in a hurry. People who continually sign their name all day long often do so in a hurry and, therefore, don't care what their signature looks like. Illegible handwriting in combination with other specific traits may indicate dishonesty, but there are a lot of variables.

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Q15:   Why is my signature different than how I write everything else?
A:   Because the signature is a badge to the world. It is a representation of what a person wants the world to see about himself. A signature that is different from the rest of his writing says he does not want to reveal everything about himself. There may be some aspect of his personality that he wants to hide, so he creates a new "person" by creating a signature with a different look.

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Q16:   Do you analyze the writing of a left-handed person the same as a right-handed person?
A:   Yes. Whether a person writes with the right or left hand, the traits revealed will be the same. Even people that have learned to write with their mouth or foot, due to amputations of their limbs, reveal the same information from their "brain writing."

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Q17:   Why do left-handed people slant their letters backwards?
A:   The question contains an invalid presupposition... not all left-handed people slant backwards.

Although many left-handed people have a leftward slant to their writing, it is not because they are left-handed. Many right-handed people have writing that slants to the left, and many left-handed people slant their writing to the right. Handwriting that slants to the left, or backward, indicates a person who does not readily express his feelings. He keeps his emotions hidden and reacts to the world around him in a reserved and logical manner. People who have experienced a traumatic event in their life or a severe illness often pull their handwriting to the left because they turn their thoughts and feelings inward.

Often, left-handed people experience emotional pain because they feel "different" being in a world that is primarily right-handed. Teachers or parents may have tried to force them to write with their right hand which produced emotional trauma that caused them to turn inward resulting in a leftward slant in their handwriting.

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Q18:   Are there "good" and "bad" traits?
A:   Traits are neither "good" nor "bad" in themselves. They just "are." Our judgment of whether or not the trait is useful in a given situation makes us label these traits "good" or "bad." However, each trait can have both negative and positive features depending on how the trait manifests itself in behavior as it combines with other aspects of one's personality. Handwriting analysis does not judge or label. It serves to identify and understand aspects of personality and behavior.

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Q19:   Is handwriting analysis an invasion of privacy?
A:   No, but it could make someone feel a little naked. Seriously, the Supreme Court, in 1977, "United States v. Sydney Rosinsky" (FRP249), ruled: "What someone's handwriting looks like is considered public information -- similar to, for example, how someone dresses or their body language, and the psychological analysis that can be extracted from the information is not considered an invasion of privacy."

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Q20:   How prevalent is handwriting analysis in companies for employee screening?
A:   Since the outlawing of the lie detector test (polygraph machine) as a prospective employee screening tool in the United States in 1988, the use of handwriting analysis has been on the rise as part of the hiring process.

Although the US has been slower than Europe to accept handwriting analysis, it is now growing in popularity by major corporations. In France, Spain, Holland and Israel, approximately 80% of companies use handwriting analysis for analyzing potential employees according to a 1988 report by "The Wall Street Journal." Research in England shows that approximately 7.9% of English companies use handwriting analysis.

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Q21:   Can handwriting reveal a person's honesty?
A:   There is no single trait that indicates honesty. However, there are several traits that, when present in certain combinations with each other and with other traits, can give us clues about a person's integrity. There are also traits that indicate talkativeness, secretiveness, and deceit. As anyone who has ever been to court will testify, ethics are a very subjective thing, so the trait of "honesty" has many factors that it depends upon.

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Q22:   Can you tell if a person is a criminal by his handwriting?
A:   No, by definition a person isn't a criminal until he has been convicted of a crime.

A combination of certain traits can warn of possible criminal tendencies, but handwriting cannot reveal whether a person has or will commit a crime. You can make an educated guess about the person's likelihood to obey the rules, become gullible, aggressive, or even steal... but you can't be definitive about his criminal bent.

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Q23:   Why don't people write the way they were taught in elementary school?
A:   Some people do, just look at your local third grade teacher. As children grow and mature, their handwriting changes and becomes a unique representation of their individual personality characteristics. The more a person's writing varies from the model they were taught, the more their morals and attitudes move away from the conventional model of the world they were taught as kids.

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Q24:   Is handwriting analysis the same for all languages?
A:   It depends on the alphabet. The strokes that are relevant in a Latin-based language are well researched and widely taught. Therefore, all Latin-based languages such as English, Spanish, Italian, French, etc. are fair game. However, many languages have completely different alphabets and, therefore, different analysis techniques.

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Q25:   Can I really change my personality by changing my handwriting?
A:   Grapho-Therapy is one of the most modern and effective behavioral modification tools available today. It works for two reasons. First, neuro-muscular connections have a direct impact on the neuro-pathways to the brain that hold patterns of behavior. Secondly, it gives the subject a clear and visual representation of the change she is making on a daily basis... reinforcing the belief system and cementing the change in behavior consciously and unconsciously.

Q26:   I have a tendency to imitate other peoples' handwriting. What does this mean?
A:   It could mean you admire and model other people... a good trait as long as you pick good people to model... make sure they don't have any hell traits.

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Q27:   If I see writing on a daily basis which is uniform and attractive, I mimic the style. Does this show a lack of personal style?
A:   Not necessarily a lack of personal style, but the attraction to uniform and attractive writing reveals a need for security, possible conservative tendency, and maybe even an "anal retentive" need for control and perfectionism.

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Q28:   After copying a style for a while, I can also mimic signatures. I wouldn't say they're perfect, but they do greatly resemble one another.
A:   As far as the signatures go... it will be useful in forging documents... at least you're not a criminal...

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Q29:   Do police departments use the services of certified handwriting analysts?
A:   Police Departments use forensics specialists to determine the true identity of ransom notes and other handrwritten evidence. They hire or use in-house trained document examiners (see: http://handwritinguniversity.com/docexam). However, any government agency is not going to pay as much as the private sector. You are not going to get rich working for the government.


In many homicide cases and FBI cases such as cases involving serial killers, a handwriting analyst is hired to help establish the psychological profile of the suspect if handwriting is available. The FBI has people on their staff for this purpose, with special criminal science background.

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Q30:   Are handwriting analysts used by corporations when there is a theft and they are trying to find the culprit?
A:   Yes, but not always. You have to have a relationship with the head of security because it is also highly secretive.
Q:   Are writing samples taken from each employee?
A:   Yes, usually from the applications.

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Q31:   Is there ample work for a handwriting analyst, or is it very limited?
A:   The market is ripe, but you have to sell yourself like any business. For example, there is plenty of work for dry cleaners, but some become rich and some shut down. It's up to you.

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Q32:   I sometimes forget to cross my t's and dot my i's. What does this mean?
A:   Forgetting to cross your t's or dot your i's is a sign of NOT paying attention to detail. This is also called absentmindedness. Do you know where you left your car keys?

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Q33:   I'm wondering about the correlation between handwriting analysis and the Myers-Briggs personality typing system. Are you able to identify personality type based on handwriting analysis?
A:   Good question. You can identify personality, that's the whole premise behind handwriting analysis. However, the language isn't identical to the other standard tests, which vary among themselves.

I did an informal test between the MMPI and handwriting analysis in 1989 with an outstanding result. The correlation was over 3.0, which is very high (publishable). Since it wasn't formal, the psychologist I was working with couldn't publish it.

There are strong correlations between the M-B and the handwriting personality styles, but I've never read a book that "does" the cross-correlations. I would assume if you know both test methods well, you could figure it out. Good luck.

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Q34:  If I forwarded you by e-mail a scan of a handwriting sample, can you answer some specific questions about certain letters I have?
A:   Sure, I charge $175 for up to an hour of my time analyzing handwriting, via telephone. No written report. You can hire one of our certified students for a lower price. See this site to hire someone: http://www.myhandwriting.com/experts/index.html#List of Analysts

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Q35:   One graphologist told me that if the trait is in the handwriting, then it's a reality; another said it's possible to carry only the trait and never act on it. Please let me know your thoughts on this.
A:   The latter is correct. You have to weigh all the factors to predict "action," and even then it takes timing and opportunity before someone acts on it. The traits increase the risk factor.

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Q36:   Do you know of any specific criminal traits in writing? If I scanned some short samples of writing and e-mailed them to you, could you look them over quickly and point out any criminal, mental illness, or anti-social identifying traits?
A:   Sure, but your money would be better spent getting the $79 course and learning the basics before speaking with me.

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Q37:   When a person is writing about something they like, such as football, or a sport, or even chess or gambling, is there any way to determine if they are good at this by reading the traits?
A:   No. You will be able to determine their level of optimism and emotional intensity for the activity, but it doesn't really vary that much simply by a single word.

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Q38:   Can you find out what job one might excel at by graphology traits?
A:  Yes, it can be very helpful. It is a very common use for this science.

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Q39:   Can I forward you some written samples so you can show me how to identify criminal and other important traits in social work?
A:   No, you have to buy the Home Study Course for that information. I, Bart Baggett, don't do private teaching unless you are an enrolled student in the Home Study Course. That's the policy. And, when I do, I charge $175 per hour.

Q40:   I am quite interested in your book "Change Your Handwriting Change Yourself" (sorry if wrong name) but want to know how it is different than the dozens of other books on the market.

I am real interested in learning graphology for the type of work that I do (Professor, Private Education to Business Consultant-NJ Department of Education, NYC Board of Education, etc. and Career Counselor) but find it difficult to remember the small nuances and minor differences in interpretation.

I once read that nearly 80 percent of job applicants in France are screened by their handwriting; I would like to introduce this concept to HR people in the dozens of corporations I work with in the NYC-NJ area and the educators I interface with but need a better handle on things. My funds are limited and would like to know how the aforementioned book, courses you sell, etc. are different than the ones collecting dust on my shelf by folks such as Bunker, Solomon, Parker, Martin, Morgan, McNichol, etc.?

A:   We can understand how difficult it is for you to discern the small nuances and differences (or make sense of it all) from one graphology and/or one grapho-therapy book from another. Not being able to tell apart the subtle nuances and differences when studying and reading graphology books (and by different authors) is quite a common experience, and certainly does add to the confusion.

Bart had the same experience and became very frustrated with traditional graphology books. That is why his material is very clear, concise, and direct. Many people think he is a trend-setter to be so bold and clear ... there are a lot of confusing, poorly written books on the market and his, in my opinion, are the best.

But, you should judge for yourself. Unlike any other publisher, you have a one-year satisfaction guarantee on any product you purchase from our company ... even the workbook.

The best advice I can give you is to set aside all of your other books for now (which will help to end the confusion), and simply put your trust and committed focus with one of Bart's home study courses.

Bart's home study courses have a proven track record, have changed countless of people's lives (for the better), and from all over the world too. Why not try it out for yourself?

If you are interested in becoming a certified handwriting analyst or learning more about graphology, Bart has several Handwriting Analysis Certification Courses and packages to choose from. Please go to the following URL for more info on these courses. This on-line catalog also includes detailed descriptions of all of Bart's Home Study Courses and products: http://www.myhandwriting.com/order/catalog.html

If you are interested in becoming certified and in improving your life as well, you might also be interested in the "Change Your Life In 30 Days" Workbook. It is a cutting-edge home study course using grapho-therapy. Grapho-therapy, the science of changing yourself (or changing your life) by changing your handwriting, can result in dramatic changes and improvements in your life.

To read a free Special Report on "Change Your Life In 30 Days," go here: http://www.myhandwriting.com/pdf/30DAYS.pdf

So why is Bart's "Change Your Life in 30 Days" grapho-therapy program different and better than the others? Well, the workbook is designed with the use of cutting-edge applications of grapho-therapy. For instance, while you are practicing your ideal letter stroke (by replacing it with your old and perhaps unideal stroke), you will also be asked to answer a lot of very important questions on a daily basis that incorporates the science of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).

These questions are designed to increase your self-awareness and to assist you in becoming very clear of what you want and what you would like to have changed in your life. This, in turn, reinforces the ideal letter stroke that you are practicing. Most grapho-therapy books focus only on changing one's letter strokes, but leave it at that. But Bart's program takes grapho-therapy several steps further than most other grapho-therapy books/courses.

Do keep in mind that the workbook "Change Your Life In 30 Days" is designed to assist you in changing your life through grapho-therapy, and is not a course in learning how to analyze handwriting (or "graphology").

If you take the advice in this workbook, make a true blue commitment to follow and work the program on a daily basis for 30-days, the program will work for most anyone. This course is designed to be completed in 30 days, as statistically it takes 21 to 30 days to change a habit.

In the foreword and introductory sections of this workbook, Bart writes, "Our handwriting can reinforce bad habits, or we can choose to use it to modify or even eliminate them." Through the proper use and practice of grapho-therapy, we can literally change ourselves by changing our handwriting.

Another unique feature that makes Bart stand out from the rest, is his personable, dynamic, enthusiastic, and fun approach and nature. He has a great sense of humor. Just listen to some of his audio tapes, or watch one of his videos, and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Bart's enthusiasm, passion, and expertise in this field are inspiring and contagious, and he has made a life-long commitment to this very fascinating science.

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Q41:   Some people's handwriting looks alike. Is it really?
A:   No, although general appearance may appear similar, no two people have exactly the same handwriting. Once you start analyzing the many varieties of strokes, you realize that the overall "appearance" of a handwriting sample can be deceptive and that most handwriting samples have glaring differences.

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Q42:   How drastically will my personality change if I change my handwriting?
A: Grapho-Therapy is an effective yet complicated transformational tool.  Some individuals find that changing one letter has a mild and positive  affect on areas such as confidence or sensitive to criticism.  Other students have utilized the technique to change 5 or more personality traits and those students would claim it is a dramatic change.

So, it all depends on you and how much time and effort you put into the program.

We suggest you read the attached special report, which explains  the ins and outs of Grapho-therapy.  There is also a great video where Bart explains the scientific background.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbVaCcfvI1A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXMX-88ujjM

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