Viñals & Puente's Transactional Graphoanalysis

By Francisco Viñals Carrera

The Transactional Graphoanalysis that we created with Mª Luz Puente is the technique that has offered us the greatest success in fields such as human resources. When in 1980 we were still involved in creating profiles for each type with their graphological correlations, executive schools were asking us to give lectures; beyond the tremendous success in staff-hiring and submitting personality reports, we have been training psychologists from the most important Spanish recruitment firms, such as IOR.

This method is now taught at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in the Master's Degree in Graphistics, Graphopathology and Forensic Graphology and the Postgraduate Degree (Diplomatura de Postgrado) in Psychological Analysis of Handwriting, Graphoanalysis, Graphopathology and Graphic Projective Tests; in addition, SOBRAG has organised courses on the same method (which they call Psychodiagnostic Assessment via Handwriting: Transactional Graphoanalysis); training which arose from the translation of our work into Portuguese by Vetor Editora, with the collaboration of Paulo Sergio de Camargo and Edwin André Leibl.

Transactional Graphoanalysis has the advantage that by evaluating the parameters according to dominants and subdominants, the percentile and combinations of the new types of TA is obtained, a current typology and one which is easily understood and put into practice in the business world.

Although the Transactional Graphoanalysis Chart is based on the French School’s way of classifying genera and species, it incorporates complementary concepts from the Italian (Morettian) School as well as from the German School. When, within the overall order of the page, we pay attention to the general graphic environment, in one way we are applying part of the German concept of balance between: movement, shape and space, all of which are distinct concepts according to Heiss:

Movement: covers what we include within the aspects or genera of Pressure, Shape, Speed, and Cohesion and refers to that which is most temperamental, the psycho-physical strength (temperament, emotions, moods, basic motivations).

Shape: covers shape in its aesthetic sense (Originality/Legibility) with some interrelations to other aspects such as Continuity; related to the conscious process of information and culture, the Behavioural shape.

Space: “Spatial order” (proportionality, the Italian’s schools triple distance: Interline, Interword and Interletter), “Dimension” (included by some German authors), the “Direction of the lines”, “Slope”, has to do with adaptation to the environment, integration, organisation, the relation between interior space (or one’s own space) and exterior space (or the space of others).

Cultural anthropology helps us explain the different perceptions according to social contexts; it is extraordinary to realise that if we examine the handwriting analysis of a good German graphologist and a good French, Italian or Spanish graphologist, we arrive at the same conclusions. Each school has its own method of designating terms as well as its own system of classifications, since as we have already pointed out, each culture has its own language and way of expression; but we repeat that it is merely another way of designating or classifying. The Germans have debated and continue to debate amongst themselves on whether this way of dividing aspects is appropriate. Roda Wieser severely criticised Heiss and followers such as Gross for these divisions, arguing that they were moving away from the Klagesian model and were not able to precisely capture the formniveau; others see formniveau in the appropriate combination of movement, shape and space. Klages, however, calls Graphic harmony by the name of Rhythm of periodicity, a concept which is equivalent to Crepieux-Jamin’s Harmony and to Moretti’s Methodically Uneven writing. He suggests that there must be unevenness or variations in the graphic parameters, but they are compensated; that is to say, they find their balance in the writing (small irregularities in dimension which are compensated for; elasticity that allows the writing to be neither rigid nor loose; small oscillations in the slope, in the direction of the line; shapes that are different in the way they are created or linked but without seeming odd, but rather being the result of practice in order to carry out the movements more effectively, that is to say, to simplify matters). Formniveau also implies a sufficient level of harmonisation, an expansive strength that is typical of the sanguine temperament or positive "free child" (TA). Movement thus predominates as the creative force par excellence, but with greater levels of shape and space appropriate to said movement. A piece of writing can therefore have a strong formniveau, but that does not mean it has obtained the highest level of harmony; another example of writing may not have a high degree of formniveau and yet still be even more harmonious since the predominance of movement is sacrificed in order to achieve a compensation or perfect balance between movement, shape and space.

Practically the same thing happens with character typologies —we had already noticed interesting correlations between the classic graphoanalysis of Vels and the Morettian temperaments. Now with our advanced system of Transactional Graphoanalysis, there is a clear correlation with the Enneagram as well as with the “normal” types to be found within every tendency towards disorder according to Millon. With respect to Pophal’s Tension Degrees, there could also be a correlation in the following way:

Degree I: (Shapeless-Listless) tendency towards Adapted Submissive Child
Degree II: (Sanguine) tendency towards Free Child
Degree III: (Lymphatic-Sanguine) tendency towards Nourishing Father with Adult
Degree IVa: (Bilious) tendency towards Critical Father
Degree IVb: (Bilious-Nervous) tendency towards Rebellious Adapted Child
Degree V: (Graphopathology)



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