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The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 97: ‘You Scratch My Back’

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. 97 “You Scratch My Back”

Nightwing is finally revealed! And he has a glorious mullet/pony tail to assert his rebellious identity!

In this episode, we explore the relationship between Batman and his protégé. No longer Robin the Boy Wonder, Dick Grayson assumes a new role as the more independent, mature “Nightwing.” Clawing into the mix is Catwoman, who attempts to take advantage of Dick’s exploration of his rebellious nature. But can Batman let go? Can Catwoman be trusted? In addition to the ever-changing relationships on the show, we also consider the topic of psychological development during young adulthood.

Presumably, Dick Grayson is in his early 20s and experiencing new conflicts in his life: establishing a solid personhood in the face of Batman’s constant authority, exploring intimacy and yet still being pulled toward self-absorption, fleeing the “nest” while still holding some ties to the family of origin. Dick’s attitudinal, emotional, and physical transformations are in conjunction with what we would expect during this psychosocial stage. So, how does he fare with holding healthy attachments? If Batman is his role model, does he have any chance for a healthy adulthood?

We also wanted to provide some recommendations in response to the current climate, especially related to upcoming changes in health care funding and the rise in anxiety and distress experienced by many of our listeners. We are a public service and vow to stay focused on our mission to advocate for those in need of mental health support and resources, something we believe everyone, no matter their status, has a right to access. Please share and use:

How to access low-cost mental health care in the U.S.:

· Check your local city college or state university. Their psychology training programs often offer low-cost mental health services for training purposes, and graduate trainees as well as interns do provide solid, supervised care.

· Check the websites of your state’s mental health association which you can find on or the American Psychological Association (APA) at Low cost services are available with proof of financial need, and many psychologists offer a sliding-fee scale. (This means they charge based on how much you can afford to pay.) Some psychologists even offer certain services for free, if necessary.

· Call your local hospitals and ask what kinds of mental health services they offer — and at what price. Teaching hospitals, where doctors are trained, often provide low- or no-cost services.

· Visit the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics

By definition, these clinics restrict eligibility for their services to individuals who are uninsured, underinsured, and/or have limited or no access to primary, specialty, or prescription health care.

· Veterans and military servicemembers can access The Soldiers Project for free therapy “off-the-record” at or (877) 576-5343

· LGBTQ youth, adolescents and young adults can access The Trevor Project’s chat line for immediate counseling assistance

· Anyone in crisis who is experiencing severe depression, suicidality, sexual assault or abuse can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-8255

Listen to the episode “You Scratch My Back” now!


Have psychology-related questions about Batman? Write to us via Twitter, @ArkhamSessions, or on Facebook. Or visit our official website.

And, don’t forget to subscribe to The Arkham Sessions on iTunes to get all of the latest episodes! Plus, come and join our Imzy community!




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