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The Arkham Sessions: How Psychologically Similar Are Batman And Robin?

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The Arkham Sessions, hosted by clinical psychologist Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the psychological analysis of Batman: The Animated Series. Nostalgic, humorous, and even a little educational, each episode promises to lend some insight into the heroes, villains, and classic stories of the Dark Knight.

As a special exclusive for ComicsAlliance visitors, new episodes of The Arkham Sessions will stream on CA several days in advance of their syndication to iTunes.

This week, we discuss the highly acclaimed, Emmy-winning episode of Batman: The Animated Series, “Robin’s Reckoning.” We cover Part 1, in which we’re shown Robin’s origin story. We discover who killed Robin’s family and how he joined forces with Batman.


How did Robin cope with the death of his parents?

Like Batman, Robin lost his parents suddenly and tragically. Like Batman, Robin also witnessed the death of his parents, which is considered a psychological trauma. We discuss how well Robin is coping shortly following the event and whether he shows signs of post-traumatic stress symptoms. We also discuss the common responses to childhood trauma, and what “protective” and “risk” factors can lead to different psychological outcomes.


How similar are Batman and Robin?

Robin’s story is a reminder that not all of us respond to trauma in the same way. In fact, important research in the area of developmental psychopathology has demonstrated multiple, diverse “pathways” following stressful events in childhood. Even though Bruce and Robin share a very similar story, they have different outcomes. “Robin’s Reckoning” asks us to contemplate whether Robin will grow up to be like Bruce. If not, does this mean we can gain a deeper understanding of how to prevent childhood trauma from having long-lasting effects in adulthood?

Listen to Part 1 for all of these topics and more, and come back next week for the exciting conclusion.


More episodes of The Arkham Sessions can be found on iTunes as well as on  Under The Mask. Dr. Drea can be found on Twitter at @ArkhamAsylumDoc. Brian can be found at @Bward028. The Arkham Sessions’ official Twitter feed is @ArkhamSessions.

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