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.

The Joker is in some serious need of cash. So when his old rival, King Barlowe, dies and leaves him $250 million, he's absolutely thrilled...and a little confused. Can the Joker retire, now that he's got one big LEGAL score? Will money buy his happiness? Can Harley simply be replaced? Is there a type of person who's more susceptible to con artists than others? What's the Golden Triangle of Happiness? And how did a popular pastime in the late 1800s become a popular psychological evaluation? All of this and more, as we analyze "Joker's Millions!"

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_102_Jokers_Millions.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 2:03pm PDT
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Join our hosts, Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, as they talk to special guests Henry T. Gilroy (Star Wars Rebels), Eric and Julia Lewald (X-Men: The Animated Series), and David Wise (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) about developing characters and stories for animation--including those characters' psychological make-up. Hear stories about working on Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Wars: Clone Wars and Rebels, X-Men, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and, of course, Batman: The Animated Series. Live from WonderCon 2017, it's The Psychology of Animated Series, presented by The Arkham Sessions.

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The show takes a momentary detour to celebrate our 100th episode by deconstructing the latest Batman film, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2017). In this episode, we highlight some of the most compelling psychological themes present in the movie, including Batman's isolationism, his emotional dependency on The Joker, and his reluctance to connect with his newly adopted son, Robin (Dick Grayson). Overall, the film offers us so many essential and universal lessons in emotional growth, including what happens when we "protect" ourselves by being alone.  The film also normalizes and opens dialogue about the different ways we deal with personal loss and trauma. It's hard to believe it's "just a kid's LEGO movie."

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_100_The_Lego_Batman_Movie.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 4:08pm PDT
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In what appears to be a significant transformation, Scarecrow decides to terrorize the city of Gotham by taking fear away. Scarecrow's newest weapon is a toxin that eliminates any biological response related to fear and anxiety. Batman becomes a victim of the toxin and begins to act a bit more...like Batman? With his fear and vulnerability completely wiped from his psychological repertoire, Batman is reckless, impulsive, and lethal. He engages in risky and senseless behavior, putting himself and others in danger. In our analysis of the episode, we address the real importance of anxiety and fear. Our bodies are equipped with a physiological "alarm system" designed to warn us of actual danger and risk. When that system goes awry, our ability to protect ourselves and others is disrupted. Does Batman ultimately learn this essential lesson about the advantages of fear? Does he experience remorse for putting Robin in danger during his altered state? Was there any permanent damage and will we see him become a colder, harder Batman? Listen in for our exploration of these topics as well as our responses to questions all about anxiety symptoms and ways to manage them!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_99_Never_Fear.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 5:10pm PDT
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This episode slightly moves away from our traditional format, because Dr. Andrea Letamendi got a unique opportunity to speak with Green Lantern writer Sam Humphries about his work on the comic; specifically focused on the character of Jessica Cruz, a member of the Green Lantern Corps who copes with severe anxiety. In this conversation, Humphries describes his own experiences with anxiety and the ways in which he's learned to handle panic attacks when they strike. Tune in and take notes, as this conversation acts as the perfect bridge to our next episode, "Never Fear."

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Over the last few episodes, we've been able to glean a bit of a falling out between Bruce and Dick. This is our first look at 'Nightwing'--or, as Catwoman likes to call him, "Man Wonder." Meanwhile, Batman has to sit back and watch as his former protégé gets sucked in by Cougar-esque charms of Selina Kyle. Can Bruce let go? Can Dick become his own man? Can Catwoman be trusted? All of this and more in "You Scratch My Back!"

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_97_You_Scratch_My_Back.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 1:55pm PDT
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Arnold Wesker, AKA the villain known as The Ventriloquist, is released from inpatient care after six months of successful rehabilitation. His treatment team at Arkham is confident he'll be fine, as long as his "alternate personality remains suppressed." However, he soon finds himself plagued with trauma reminders, intrusive thoughts, and nightmares about his old pal, Scarface. Is Scarface a product of his own mind, a separate personality, or an actual living figure??? On this episode, we explore the possibilities! Additionally, we discuss the concept of a "trigger," as well as the benefits and misuses of "trigger warnings."

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_96_Double_Talk.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 12:39pm PDT
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