An Illustrated Guide to Symbol & Self »

“The way you write, draw, dream, joke or remember embodies more information than you know.”

Dr. Jordan Peterson

Though a common phrase in the business vernacular, clinician Annette Poizner suggests that those familiar words – sign here – point to a hidden truth: embedded within any given signature are signs – symbols – that potentially reveal personality style, interests or behavioral patterns of the writer. Right here, before our eyes, is information that can reveal personality and orientation, the writer’s ‘personal brand’. Readers can access tentative insights which can better help them understand themselves and others, all as near as the stroke of a pen.

Examining the signatures of well-known celebrities, you will be looking over the shoulder of an experienced graphologist and psychotherapist. Explore the inner dynamics revealed – often quite overtly albeit undetected by those without training – when a person provides a signature, the moniker that each person cultivates to express self and soul. Dabble in the intriguing world of projective personality assessment which has clinicians observing and evaluating every day behaviors, like handwriting, drawing, telling stories or remembering jokes, all of which provide a medium for self-expression. A trained observer will unpack layers of information. Get to know Justin Trudeau, Barbra Streisand, Justin Bieber, Donald Trump, Katie Couric amongst many others on the basis of signatures, en route to getting a better understanding of the human condition as it plays out in each one of us.

“You have a pattern of behavior that characterizes you “

Dr. Jordan Peterson

“He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.”

Sigmund Freud

Annette Poizner, MSW, Ed.D., RSW, is a Columbia-trained clinical social worker who completed a Doctorate of Education from the University of Toronto, specializing in counseling psychology. Her doctoral dissertation, completed at the University of Toronto, explored the use of graphology (handwriting analysis) within psychotherapy. Her work has been featured in dailies across Canada, in trade magazines across North America. She is the author of Clinical Graphology: An Interpretive Manual for Mental Health Practitioners, published by Charles C Thomas Publisher. She has also authored A Practical Summary for Using Jordan Peterson’s ‘Maps of Meaning’ to Sort Yourself Out, This Way Up: A Faith-based Introduction to Jordan Peterson’s ‘Maps of Meaning, In Good Standing: Using Jordan Peterson’s Insights on the Structure of Self to Sort Yourself Out, From Chaos to Order: A Guide to the Worldview of Jordan Peterson and Beyond Chaos: Wrestling with Jordan Peterson’s Notion of the Feminine, among other books, all published by Lobster University Press. Lobster University Press is an imprint that explores and expands the work and ideas of Dr. Jordan B. Peterson.

Poizner is a psychotherapist in private practice with a specialty in projective personality assessment and Ericksonian psychotherapy. She is a cofounder of the Milton H Erickson Institute of Toronto. For more information about her work or publications, please visit

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