January 19, 2010

Graphology in Spanish Universities

2010 1st Year of European Graphologists – 10th Year of Graphopsychologists - 15th Year of Handwriting Analysts – 75th Anniversary of Graphology in Spanish Universities.

On behalf of the Management Team, we would like to congratulate everyone in this extraordinary 2010, which we begin with the first Year of the Masters in European Graphoanalysis. On completion of their research projects, graduates will be conferred as the first European Graphoanalysts, as their ECTS credits are recognised in the twenty-seven European Union countries. The Autonomous University of Barcelona (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona – UAB) is the first European university to achieve this considerable status.

Just a few hours ago we said farewell to 2009 as the Year of Tribute to Prof. Augusto Vels, in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Spanish Association of Consultant Graphologists (Agrupación de Grafoanalistas Consultivos de España – AGC), culminating in the publication of a special monographic yearbook that came out for the Christmas holidays: Lecciones Magistrales de Augusto Vels, which includes a series of testimonials, some of which unfortunately could not be published because the book had already gone to print, but which will nonetheless be collected together in a complete digital format available to the public on the ICG website.

The Year of Vels 2009 reached its pinnacle with the academic events carried out in the Autonomous University of Barcelona in the month of October in the presence of the Professor's children and grandchildren, who were given a commemorative plaque, and with the participation of Prof. Josep Llobet, Representative Director of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office; Prof. Francisco Viñals and Prof. Mariluz Puente, the Directors of Graphology Studies at the UAB; Prof. Dolors Mora, Prof. Lynn Perez-Calvo Soler and Prof. Pilar Mèlich, representatives of the AGC’s Board of Directors and Professors of Graphology at the UAB; Prof. Helena Soler García de Soria, representative of the Founding Board; Prof. Jordi Morera, representative of the AGC in the Museo Augusto Vels; Prof. Joan Maria Ferran Aymar and Prof. Josep Capdevila, representatives of the Technical Council; Prof. Dor Alfred Gauthier, representative of the Teachers’ Honours Board; as well as Prof. Santiago Estaún, the Head of the Psychology Department, together with recent UAB graduates.

During the celebration, the importance of Prof. Augusto Vels's grapho-analytical system was highlighted as an exponent of the Spanish School of Graphology, complemented by Viñals & Puente's Transactional Graphoanalysis. Both systems have been validated by doctoral theses in Spanish universities and constitute one of the main reasons for the growing success of Spanish Graphology internationally. By way of an anecdote it is worth remembering that important multinational companies — not only American and Spanish, but also French and German — have for years placed their trust in graphoanalysts with degrees from the UAB, and its first representative, Prof. Francisco Viñals, received the Cruz de Primera Clase (First Class Cross), awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Defence for his work as professor and graphoanalyst in the Army General Staff. He and Prof. Mariluz Puente are the authors of the current principal university bibliography on graphology and, in addition, as Directors of the Institute of Graphological Sciences (Instituto de Ciencias del Grafismo – ICG) they have been selected once again as “Personatges de Catalunya” (Important Catalans) and included in the current volume of Historia Contemporànea de Catalunya.

We have certainly had good reason for celebration in recent times: from the Presidency of the ADEG, to the Congress of Directors of Graphological Entities of Barcelona-2008 in the UAB, to the aforementioned Year 2009 in Honour of Prof. Augusto Vels. In this newly begun 2010, by an extraordinary coincidence, we are simultaneously celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of Graphopsychologists of the UAB, the Fifteenth Anniversary of UAB Handwriting Analysts and the 75th Anniversary of University Graphology in Spain, which began with classes given by Dr Werner Wolff, in collaboration with Dr Emilio Mira y López, who was also one of the internationally renowned architects of scientific graphology.

Indeed Prof. Werner Wolff taught Graphology in 1935 at the Institut Psicotècnic de la Generalitat and also in what was then called the “Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona” (formerly the UB and now the UAB which, on being founded, recovered that name by agreement of the Vice-Chancellors and the Autonomous Government of Catalonia). Mira y Lopez, the Honourable Head of Department, stated that Wolff possessed impressive psychoanalytical, gestalt-expressive and ethnopsychological training, in addition to very considerable graphological knowledge, derived from Klages, amongst others. During the Second Spanish Republic, Dr Mira y López echoed the innovations in German graphology and psychology, contributing to the support of graphology by the Academia Médica (Medical Academy) and its development in Spanish universities, first in what was then called the “Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona” as the first Head of Department of Psychiatry in Spain (1933) and Wolff's mentor. At a later stage, the graphologist also worked at the Complutense University (Universidad Complutense). Prof. Francisco Viñals also worked at the Complutense, as Director–Technician at its local section in Córdoba, and has worked in the current Autonomous University of Barcelona for 15 years. Also worth noting are the occasional courses which have been developed in other universities, such as the Ramon Llull University (Universitat Ramon Llull) and the University of Barcelona, where Prof. Esperanza Fonta, with the help of Prof. Francisco Viñals, organised some Graphology courses and workshops.

However, Graphology is not a qualification in itself, but rather is included as a subject or discipline in current degree courses related to criminology and security. A field which had been dealt with practically in secret as an elite instrument of the Defence General Staff, is now being used in research units within the police and the majority of HR offices, to the extent that graphopsychological reports are increasingly being used in legal proceedings.

We can state with great satisfaction that Graphology is one of the most successful subjects and one which attracts great interest at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and at entities which come under the auspices of the Institute of Graphological Sciences. For this reason we now urge our colleagues who have graduated from UAB to join in this celebration of 75 years of University Graphology in Spain. This places us at the forefront in Europe with UAB's first Masters with ECTS (European Credit Transfer System), which are internationally recognised in the 27 European Union countries.

Technical Secretariat of the ICG (Instituto de Ciencias del Grafismo)