What is Grapho-Therapy and how does it work?

Change you Handwriting, Change your Life

In a nutshell, Grapho-Therapy is based on the principle that body language and behavior affect your personality just as your personality affects your body language and your behavior. It’s a two way street.

Have you ever heard of the concept that if you are feeling down, if you go around giving everyone a big smile, you will start to feel better? Even if you just smile at yourself in a mirror, it works.


A smile is body language.  And it affects how you feel. And anything you do on a temporary basis, such as smiling, will become part of your personality if you do it continuously. And if you do it continuously both the body language (of, in this case, smiling) and the subsequent feeling of being uplifted, of joy, or happiness, will also become part of your personality.

So it is with your writing. Your writing is also body language, and how you write affects how you feel. Over time, your writing style permanently affects your personality.

And just like with the smile, you don’t have to do it all day long. Just a few minutes a day to start with and then just a few minutes a couple of times a week or even a month, will keep whatever you have introduced to or eliminated from your personality just how you want it to be.


So you want

  • higher goals,
  • to be more loving,
  • to be more organized,
  • to show emotion more or less,
  • to become less sensitive to criticism,
  • to be more outgoing …

the list continues… all it takes is to put the necessary strokes into your handwriting (or eliminate negative ones), practice till it becomes  you natural way of writing, and by that time it’s also part of your natural behavior. This usually takes about three weeks, but may take longer if you either only practice occasionally or if it’s a particularly strong trait you are trying to budge.

The added benefit of making changes this way is that if you start to drift back into your previous mind-set/ behavior, it will show in your writing before it shows in your behavior, giving you advance warning, so you can then work on your writing again to put it back where you want it.


Grapho-therapy is completely safe and can be used to complement any other form of therapy or methods of changing aspects of your personality.

Best results are gained from changing only one stroke at a time. One stroke may just be one personality trait, but it may also cover a great many. For example, the t-bar can give you

  • high goals,
  • good starting power,
  • clear direction,
  • optimism,
  • enthusiasm and
  • tenacity.

All in one stroke. And since it is just one stroke they can all be added at the same time. And by doing this stroke, if you previously suffered from

  • a temper,
  • procrastination or
  • domineering behavior

you will also be removing them at the same time. All from  just changing you t-bar!

Not all strokes involve multiple traits like the t-bar, but several can change more than one at a time.

Added benefit and faster results can be gained from journaling by hand. If you journal, writing by hand, about the changes you are making and how you feel about them at the same time as practicing the new stroke/s, this will enhance the change, as you are focusing on the meaning of it as you write, and of course, you are also writing so practicing your new stroke/s as you go.


Here is just one trait to try out. Make all your lower extenders long.  A lower extender is the tail of the ‘g’, ‘f’, ‘j’ or ‘y’. The longer you make them the more enduring your determination. And make them straight.  That is keeping on track with your determination, not allowing yourself to get detoured.  You can finish with a loop, curve or just end bluntly at the end of the straight downstroke. For this trait whether or not there is a loop doesn’t matter, it’s only the downward stroke that counts.

Keep practicing that until it’s your normal writing style and you’ll find yourself with longer lasting, more enduring determination to do whatever it is you want to do.

change your writing change your life

Fiona MacKay Young
Certified Handwriting Analyst/ Grapho-therapist