Handwriting analysis: An exciting new dreamwork tool

2 Apr
Judy Kaplan flyer

Flyer announcing Judy Kaplan's workshop

Like astrology, handwriting analysis had vaguely interested me but left me too skeptical to want to tack its complexities. Unable to make a fair evaluation with such limited knowledge, I’ve remained agnostic.

Enter Judy Kaplan (thewriteme.com), who conducted a workshop in Manhattan in December and will be repeating it at the annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams in Berkeley, Calif. (June 22–26: ASDreams.org/2012). I predict buzz, and a lot of it. Judy adds a tool to dream understanding that’s fresh and original—and can open up whole new associative directions by zeroing in on even a few individual letters.

Judy Kaplan

Judy Kaplan

A bit of the edge came off my skepticism when Judy explained that she practices a form of handwriting analysis (apparently there are several) that she describes as the most scientific: It’s based on research matching thousands of handwriting samples with personality profiles. (Judy’s training and certification are through the International Graphoanalysis Society.) Judy had already been working with dreams and regularly attending an Ullman Method dream group when she began studying handwriting analysis, and she soon saw the application of the latter to dreamwork.

The clues in handwriting, Judy said, come up unconsciously, as dream symbols do. Just as dreams reveal personality and (potentially conflicting) internal forces, the strokes that make up handwriting reveal personality traits and the forces they create when pushing against one another. But for dream analysis, it’s not necessary to get into these combinations, because the focus is on specific dream symbols. As Judy put it in her workshop handout, “Dreams are inner truths coming out in symbolic presentation. Inner truths from handwriting strokes attach themselves to these symbols. In this case, we can use isolated handwriting strokes to help with the dream analysis.”

In fact, what significantly softened my skepticism had come the night before the workshop, when Judy demonstrated this very point to me. She had invited those who RSVP’d for the workshop to send her a handwritten dream. I incubated one for that purpose and sent it to her, and she gave me a detailed graphoanalysis of it by phone.

This is the dream:

Flat Band Bracelet (11/9/11)

Abstract place, bright, whiter than sunlight. I’m standing facing another person—someone I don’t know well but respect tremendously, a man with global or cosmic connections. He’s my height, slim, but I don’t know more because I don’t look directly at him. There may be a woman slightly behind him on his right. (Feeling: Awe)

He hands me a silver-colored [gun metal] bracelet—a flat band with an opening to slip it on [a very familiar type of bracelet, but I couldn’t think of what it’s called]. There’s something written (engraved) on it, on the outside. He probably doesn’t say anything. I thank him, quietly. (Feelings: Incredibly honored. Amazed. Never expected this.)

We part. (Feelings: Blessed. Uncertain what this will mean for me, but I feel I’ve been given power. Honored.)

[End of dream]

It’s important that the feelings I had in the dream were overwhelmingly positive—because the handwriting, as Judy interpreted it, picked up something very different:

Flat Band Bracelet, 2nd paragraph

Flat Band Bracelet, portion of 2nd paragraph

  • The little internal loop in the article “a” before “man” shows self-deception, and this is the first time it shows up.
  • Pointiness of the first (bottom) curve in an “m” at the beginning of a word (“man”) indicates resentment.
  • In “with,” the cross of the “t” just touches, and this indicates irritation.
  • The dot on the “i” in “height” isn’t a dot. It shows I was jamming the pen down, which indicates irritation.
  • A loop on the right side of an “o” (in “more”) shows secrecy.
  • [Added later on 3/2] The slash over the “i” in “directly” points backward, meaning at myself.
Flat Band Bracelet, 3rd paragraph

Flat Band Bracelet, word from 3rd paragraph

The word that cinched this whole new take on my dream was “colored”— indeed it was a single letter. The handwriting characteristic here—a double loop in the first “o”—appears only once in the entire dream record, Judy told me. And it ties together the self-deception and secrecy found previously into a sense of manipulation—specifically, being manipulated. (Being the object rather than perpetrator of the manipulation may have been indicated by another stroke, but I didn’t get that down in my notes.)

In the three days between the dream and the phone conversation with Judy, a situation with a person important in my life had come to a head. When Judy said the loops in the “o” pointed to manipulation, it resonated with my feeling of being manipulated in the rupturing friendship. I suddenly realized the bracelet was a POW-MIA bracelet—a symbol that had both metaphorical and literal meaning in the context of the friendship.

Other aspects of the dream also started to make more sense. An immediate (upon awaking) association I’d thought of to the man in the dream—day residue of the BBC light/retro science fiction character Dr. Who—had even proved a bit prophetic: the episode I’d watched the night before had revealed a darker side to the ebullient Dr. Who, and a line he kept repeating was almost the same wording with which my friend began an email he sent me the day after the dream…the type of remark from him that often felt manipulative.

This additional layer of feeling and meaning uncorked by handwriting analysis doesn’t negate the positive feelings and associations I’d had previously—this same friend is cheeringly ebullient, and courageous in ways that awe me and make me feel honored to have him as a friend. But Judy’s remarks added texture in the way that shifting the angle of lighting will highlight a different grain in a rough surface.

So I’m impressed. Very. There are lots of questions I have, such as how Judy envisions the average dreamworker putting handwriting analysis to work—how much study will be required to use this tool? Regardless, I’m excited, and grateful to Judy Kaplan for bringing this tool to dreamers.

(And Judy, if you read this, feel free to correct any inaccuracies in how I’ve explained things!)


2 Responses to “Handwriting analysis: An exciting new dreamwork tool”

  1. howanxious April 2, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    I would love to learn something like that..

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