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The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 79: “The Lion and the Unicorn”

The Arkham Sessions, hosted by 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!

The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 79: “The Lion and the Unicorn”

In this very important episode of The Arkham Sessions, we discuss the role that Alfred plays in Batman’s life — he’s more than just a caretaker, he’s Bruce’s primary source of resiliency, encouragement, and support. Social support is one of the most important factors in the prediction of recovery after a trauma and is cited as an essential protective factor or a possible buffer against the development of mental health illnesses.

In addition, we talk about “truth serum,” offering up facts around its process and effectiveness. (Yes, it exists!)

Finally, the subplot of Alfred’s captivity and abuse lead us to a discussion about a serious topic: Torture in the context of the treatment of wartime detainees. We explain the controversial relationship between the field of psychology and U.S. national security. Specifically, we discuss the partnership between American psychologists and the government’s post-911 interrogation program. In fact, psychologists were not only aware of the unethical interrogations that took place at the Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prisons, but assisted and advised the actual CIA program that issued interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation, stress positions, language isolation, etc. Furthermore, correspondence recently disclosed in 2015 revealed that the American Psychological Association coordinated with The Department of Defense to help ethically justify the detainee torture program during the Bush administration. This poses some important, though difficult, questions about the role of psychologists, as Dr. Letamendi elucidates. Should psychologists help with national security issues such as interrogations and counter-terrorism? How can we function as advisors and subject matter experts on national security issues and still adhere to our ethics code to “do no harm?”

For more information about the alleged collusion with the CIA, click here.
Read about the psychologist who was “just doing my job.”
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