Hey there! I am back. It’s good to see you after so long! All those months psychology kept me busy. I can see readers all over the world are reading my blogs. This gives me an inspiration to write again. In this article I am going to help you understand ethics of performing handwriting analysis & how it’s important. I was having a little talk with some of my teachers, I realized one must know ethics while analysing handwriting. People rarely give a thought to it while starting to analyse any handwriting.
Basically, analysing anyone’s handwriting is a very personal thing. We get to know great details of person with just glance at the handwriting. It is mandatory to follow certain rules while analysing handwriting. Let’s note down ethics in this blog first.
Ethics express the fundamental principles of this profession. We must follow ethics for
- Analysing any personality through handwriting as a practice,
- Education related to the topic and
We graphologists, have to agree on common set of principles and standards.
Ethics we must follow while analysing handwriting:
- In India, I have seen people not caring much about moral principles and confidentiality while analysing personality. I crossed paths with Namita and she explained it as important part of graphology. One should not ever analyse handwriting in front of others. It should always be one on one.
- Colleagues, employers, friends, spouses, romantic relationships at young age, school- college administrators, teachers, parents and others (practically everyone around us) often ask to provide information with help of handwriting analysis. We may only share the minimum information necessary.
- We should be clear about whether and why we are disclosing information. Sometimes, for instance, a law requires to disclose something, such as possible abuse.
2. Informed consent:
We should take consent from the writer before analysing personality through handwriting. We should give the necessary information to get informed consent right from the start. Topics to discuss may include:
- Limits of confidentiality,
- Nature and extent of record-keeping,
- What services we can and can’t provide,
- If it includes therapy; estimated length of therapy (Alternative approaches to treatment or service),
3. Avoid being judgmental:
The graphologist and client both can be from a different backgrounds. Their upbringing may differ vastly. Graphologist have to understand the client. We are not supposed to judge our clients. Putting one’s own self in the client’s shoe and then analysing client is important. We need to understand client’s feelings, situations for understanding the man behind specific handwriting.
4. Avoid labeling:
One thing my experience taught me is, one can learn few of the tricks of handwriting analysis very easily. But presenting it in front of the writer is a skill. Analysing one’s negative trait very bluntly can affect writer’s life tremendously. Analyser should always keep in mind not to label anyone with anything. ‘Dibs in a search for self’ by Virginia M. Axline, is a best book which can explain effects of labeling anyone. Instead of giving a tag of negative trait, we can analyse same trait using different metaphors.
5. Understanding the consequences of handwriting analysis:
There will always be consequences of our analysis. After our analysis is done writer can go through various emotional ups and downs. Some people can be extremely sensitive. We must analyse handwriting carefully.
6. Be frank and honest:
Be frank and honest. Don’t explain the parts which you can’t determine through handwriting.
In addition to this I have found essential ethics that we ought to follow. Let’s see what are the ethics followed by graphologists over the world.
Ethics followed by graphologists over the world:
- Documents or information in our possession must not be used for the purpose of causing harm to others, directly or indirectly.
- The graphologist is expected to develop and maintain skills of handwriting analysis through proper training. You can gain knowledge through professional courses, academic training, workshops.
- The graphologist should examine original document. If scanned copy is used, disclaimer should be included in report.
- The graphologist should practice only within his/her area of competence or expertise. If you are not a doctor or psychologist; you should not diagnose the problem.
- Information obtained from a handwriting should not be used to harm the writer.
- The work undertaken by the graphologist concerning the person urges the respect of moral and professional values. The graphologist must safeguard, at all times, his independence, integrity and sense of humanity. He must not be influenced by any prejudice in respect of sex, race, politics, social class or religion.
- In every analysis, the graphologist shall remain tactful and cautious. In work concerned with the selection of personnel, he shall avoid touching upon the aspects of the writer’s personality which are not related to the criteria of the position to be filled. His language must remain clear, careful and unambiguous. In his work, he must be completely impartial and refuse to provide any analysis of ‘accommodation’.
- The graphologist shall not disclose the name of his clients without their prior consent. He shall not communicate or publish texts, or analyses, without the agreement of the interested party or the owner of the document. In education, teachers shall respect the anonymity of the writers of documents used.
- The lawful owner of a document shall be the sole person responsible for the use of analysis. The results shall be exclusively sent to the person who made the request.
- The graphologist shall respect the laws of his country regarding the person and, in particular professional secrecy, which must be respected verbally as well as in the circulation of documents.
Ethics given by some Institues:
- Handwriting Analysts International
- The British Institute of Graphologists
- European Ethics Society of Graphology (Association Déontologique Européene de Graphologie – ADEG) (registered in Belgium) sets code of ethics for European graphologists.
- Ocampa organisation in USA follows similar code of ethics.