THE ARKHAM SESSIONS, by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the observation and clinical analysis of the characters in BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES.

It's our second anniversary and we're celebrating with a look at Tim Burton's sequel to 1989's blockbuster, Batman. In this episode we're introduced to the villains Penguin and Max Shreck and anti-heroine Catwoman. The underdogs rise to the top and make for some perfect psychological analysis!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_74_Batman_Returns.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 1:02pm PST
Comments[0]

We've all felt it before. The thirst for revenge. And yet, psychological science has demonstrated that very little satisfaction results from enacting revenge. In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we revisit one of the beloved yet misunderstood villains, The Clock King.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_73_Time_Out_of_Joint.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 2:13pm PST
Comments[0]

It's another amazing Harley-centric episode! But, as always, it comes with its own controversy surrounding Harley's unhealthy relationship with the Joker. Our analysis focuses not just on the cycle of violence in their relationship, previously mentioned in "Harley & Ivy," but also Harley's costume as a big part of her identity, Batman's own ability to to think like the Joker, and more! Plus, we experiment with live questions via Periscope!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_72_Harlequinade.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 8:36am PST
Comments[0]

They are the elite! Or so they think. They're the Terrible Trio, a burgling threesome that targets the rich--not because they need the money, but because they're just bored! This episode, called the worst of the DCAU by none other than Bruce Timm, actually proves to be perfect for Dr. Andrea Letamendi's psychological analysis!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_71_The_Terrible_Trio.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 2:44pm PST
Comments[0]

Are we all capable of blossoming into our "better selves?" Can those with seedy pasts reform? Can someone with a criminal background turn over a new leaf? In light of Poison Ivy's potential "recovery," we explain what rehabilitation might look like, whether it's predictable or even possible, and we look at the self-fulfilling prophecy, the phenomenon of making a prediction come true simply by believing in it.
Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_70_House__Garden.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 2:22pm PST
Comments[0]

Ra's al Ghul has returned and wants to learn the secrets of life and death--beyond those he already has from the Lazarus Pit. Only two people can stop him: Batman and his own daughter, Talia. Will Batman learn from his last experiences with the al Ghul family? FInd out in "Avatar!"

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_69_Avatar.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 10:26am PST
Comments[0]

The Batman is put on trial by the Rogues Gallery. His charge: the very creation of the Rogues themselves! And his defense attorney is none other that Janet Van Dorn, the prosecutor that believes Batman should be imprisoned with the lot of them! Does her opinion change during his defense? And would it, if she really had to defend Batman in a court of law? Dr. Andrea Letamendi will tell you why or why not in "Trial!"

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_68_Trial.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 1:38pm PST
Comments[0]

How similar to the Batman is Harvey Bullock? As someone wants Bullock dead, we get the first good chance to dive deeper into this polarizing character!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_67_A_Bullet_For_Bullock.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 1:16pm PST
Comments[0]

It's our first time evaluating the REAL Killer Croc since his very first appearance in "Vendetta." How has he changed since then? And is it possible for someone like him to reform after meeting up with a community of people who have had many of the same experiences he has?

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_66_Sideshow.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 9:05am PST
Comments[0]

We revisit the psychology of the Mad Hatter, exploring his obsession with control, manipulation and alteration of other people's minds, and his fundamentally damaged and poor sense of self. Additionally, could symbolism and superstition actually have a significant effect on our behavior and thought patterns? And is having a worry-free or stress-free life such a good idea?

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_65_The_Worry_Men.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 12:15pm PST
Comments[0]

Batman diagnoses Arnold Wesker (AKA The Ventriloquist) as having Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder. But is this diagnois accurate? And is Batman qualified to make this diagnosis, to begin with? In this episode, Dr. Andrea Letamendi breaks down this controversial disorder and tells us what she thinks of Batman's assessment.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_64_Read_My_Lips.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 1:06pm PST
Comments[0]

This week, we get a clear portrayal of a full-fledged delusional disorder in a new villain: Maxie Zeus. We discuss the diagnosis of Delusional Disorder, types of delusions and the impact the illness could have on the family members, partners and colleagues around the person suffering. Finally, we consider what the real differences are between Batman and Maxie Zeus--could they actually be more alike based on their fixed values, impervious beliefs, and the "creation" of an identity?

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_63_Fire_From_Olympus.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 3:36pm PST
Comments[0]

What separates humans from robots? Dr. Andrea Letamendi dives into the psychology at play in this fantastic episode that brings up deep emotional themes seen in science fiction classics like Blade Runner and haunting imagery from others like The Terminator.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_62_His_Silicon_Soul.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 12:04pm PST
Comments[0]

When we left our heroes, Ra's al Ghul was holding his own daughter above his head, ready to kill her in a sudden fit of insanity, brought on by the rejuvinating effects of the Lazarus Pit. In this episode, we look at the similarities between Batman and Ra's al Ghul, as well as whether Batman would ever be able to have a romantic relationship in addition to the life he leads as Gotham's number one crimefighter. That and more here!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_61_The_Demons_Quest_Part_2.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 5:36pm PST
Comments[0]

It's our first real look at the mysterious Ra's al Ghul, "The Demon's Head!" First introduced, along with his daughter, Talia, in "Off Balance," this quintessential member of Batman's Rogues really gets to shine in "The Demon's Quest, Part 1."  When Robin and Talia are kidnapped on the same day, Ra's recruits Batman to help him rescue them. But is everything ever as it seems in Gotham City? Their journey takes them from Gotham to Calcutta to Malaysia to the Himalayas and, finally, to the infamous Lazarus Pit! But why? Find out in this week's episode of The Arkham Sessions!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_60_The_Demons_Quest_Part_1.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 12:32pm PST
Comments[0]

Due to a catastrophic explosion at WayneTech Industries, Bruce Wayne is injured and suffers corneal flash burns. The bad news: He's temporarily blind! Against Dr.'s orders, he suits up as Batman and goes after The Penguin so he can stop him from causing anymore mayhem with a stolen military-grade helicopter, aptly nicknamed "Raven."  Aided by an occular device (that seems to be implanted in his brain?!), Batman regains his vision and pursues The Penguin and his henchmen to the site of a dangerous steel factory. But the visual aid runs out of batteries, rendering Batman completely blind while facing one of his most dangerous enemies. Miraculously, he discovers how to compensate for his lack of sight by engaging his other senses, and Daredevi--er, Batman, finds a way to serve his mission without one of his most integral senses!

In this episode of the Arkham Sessions, we discuss Batman's inflexible personality, his insistence on working "impaired," and his ability to work with the new deficit of blindness.  We explain potential circumstances in which one could "see without seeing," such as the condition called "blindsight" and the fascinating phenomenon called "neuroplasticity" -- how the brain can adapt and change based on experiences. For instance, if one sense is deprived of input, other senses (hearing, taste, touch) are augmented, and actually take up more "brain space" than initially reserved for those senses! Finally, we revisit the Milgram Obedience Study, a famously groundbreaking study that revealed the dangers of authority and conformity.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_59_Blind_as_a_Bat.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 4:29pm PST
Comments[0]

Commissioner Gordon has been arrested on suspicion of taking bribes from mob boss Rupert Thorne and Batman's on the case. But so is Gordon's daughter, Barbara, who's showing herself to be quite the accomplished crime fighter herself...as Batgirl! This week, The Arkham Sessions breaks down her acceptance into the Bat Family, how her origin is different than that of Batman and Robin's and whether being a murderer means you're mentally ill!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_58_Shadow_of_the_Bat.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 3:00pm PST
Comments[0]

Why do we stay with people who hurt us? Why are so-called "toxic" relationships sometimes the hardest ones to leave? And what can we do when those relationships become too dangerous for our psychological or physical well-being? In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we spend some time reviewing one of the most psychologically relevant episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, "Harley and Ivy."
Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_57_Harley_and_Ivy.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 1:06pm PST
Comments[0]

The brutal bird is back! We revisit the psychology of The Penguin this week in our review of "The Mechanic." Due to a high-octane car chase, the Batmobile is pretty banged up. Batman takes his beloved wheels to his mechanic, a man who basically services all the bat-vehicles in a secret garage hidden under Gotham City. Unfortunately, The Penguin discovers the location of the secret garage and blackmails the mechanic into booby-trapping the Batmobile! Although the episode is full of action-packed chases and hostage situations, there's still a lot of psychology to discuss! Is The Penguin a sociopath? And what's a sociopath anyway? What does all this destruction say about Batman? Find out!
Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_56_The_Mechanic.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 11:33am PST
Comments[0]

Brian's love of magic is rewarded with this episode of The Arkham Sessions! Zatanna, the daughter of one of Bruce's old mentors, has come to Gotham to put on a show. Boy, does she ever! But it might get her into trouble. Dr. Letamendi discusses the Batman's continuing saga with unobtainable love interests, the psychology of magic and we even learn how Zatanna's big trick could have been done!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_55_Zatanna.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 4:37pm PST
Comments[0]

Once again, we're given a glimpse into the sibling rivalries within Gotham's mob community. Only this time, it's the brother of Rupert Thorne, Matthew, a gifted surgeon--and former friend to Thomas Wayne and Leslie Thompkins--whose license was revoked, due to his participation in Rupert's criminal activities. "Paging the Crime Doctor," perhaps, gives us our best peek into the personality of Rupert Thorne so far. So what does Dr. Letamendi have to say about him? And how does Batman himself stack up to Dr. Letamendi's professional code of ethics? Find out now!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_54_Paging_the_Crime_Doctor.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 8:43am PST
Comments[0]

Is Matt Hagen a criminal? Or is he just doing what he has to to survive? Clayface returns to Batman: The Animated Series in "Mudslide!" And, this time, he's joined by Dr. Stella Bates... and A LOT of classic movie references! Find out how Hagen's been doing since we last saw him and what Dr. Letamendi thinks about Stella in this episode of The Arkham Sessions!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_53_Mudslide.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 3:57pm PST
Comments[0]

A couple of episodes ago, we learned what Batman would be like with the possibility of losing Jim Gordon. Now, find out what Gotham would be like with the loss of Batman. Sidney Debris is the man who killed Batman. Or is he? And how does this potential blunder affect him and those around him? Find out, as Dr. Andrea Letamendi tackles the loss of Batman, for Gotham City, for Jim Gordon and...the Joker?! That's right. The Clown Prince of Crime is in mourning! Find out all about it here!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_52_The_Man_Who_Killed_Batman.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 10:11am PST
Comments[0]

Meet Talia al Ghul, a mysterious woman in black, that seems to be on Batman's side. Or is she? In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we learn about betrayal and what it does to our core schema and what this means for Batman--and Bruce--down the line!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_51_Off_Balance.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 8:44am PST
Comments[0]

It's been another year since the death of Bruce's parents and, like every year, Batman visits the site in Crime Alley with his old family friend Dr. Leslie Thompkins. But this year's different. Bruce has fallen into a much deeper depression and believes that Batman hasn't accomplished anything in Gotham City. This mindset gets Jim Gordon in trouble and Bruce has to make some very important decisions. In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we explore Compassion Fatigue and what it takes to avoid it and combat it, should it fall upon us.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_50_I_Am_the_Night.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 10:39am PST
Comments[0]

The Riddler is back and, once again, he's tapping into his advanced knowledge of gaming in "What is Reality?" This week, we discuss The Riddler's decision to renounce the identity of Edward Nygma, his early adoption of Virtual Reality, the possibilty of this technology actually killing Commissioner Gordon and VR's very real place in today's therapy. That and more in this week's episode of The Arkham Sessions!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_49_What_is_Reality.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 10:40am PST
Comments[0]

Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, insists that he's going straight. But will society--specifically, HIGH SOCIETY--allow him to do so? In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we get our first solid look at the psychology of The Penguin.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_48_Birds_of_a_Feather.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 11:01am PST
Comments[0]

We celebrate our one-year anniversary with this very special look at the most requested Batman story yet, Mask of the Phantasm! Get a better look at the history of Bruce Wayne, his long lost love, and the painful missions of vengeance they both share.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_47_Mask_of_the_Phantasm.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 12:13pm PST
Comments[1]

1