The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 83: “Harley’s Holiday”

One of the most requested episodes has finally arrived! When Harley Quinn is deemed “mentally safe and sound” by psychiatrists at Arkham Asylum, she is released into the public. Though she admits to making some mistakes in the past, Harley believes that she will stay out of trouble: “You’ll see I’m just as sane as anybody!” As per usual, Batman is skeptical of Harley’s ability to maintain a crime-free existence — however, he allows her the chance for rehabilitation and generally keeps his distance. Despite her hopes to blend into society, Harley encounters several challenges, including the negative assumptions others have about her, and her own self-doubts. This forces us to ask ourselves whether rehabilitation can really be possible in a place like Gotham City. In the end, it is Batman who reminds us that “having a bad day” can really affect a person, but it does not have to define who they are.

Harley’s recovery is a complex issue. In the mental health field, we can turn to the  Recovery Oriented Model , which is a paradigm that encourages us to consider broader definitions of functioning and wellness, such that we focus less on the disease and more on the patient’s definition of hope, connection and empowerment.

In this episode, we address how Harley can be treated using the Recovery Oriented Model, explore the personality aspects of thrill-seekers like Harley Quinn, and even consider the rare condition called hybristophilia –the phenomenon of women who are attracted to criminals. There was a lot to talk about! Listen by clicking the play button below!


The Arkham Sessions is a podcast dedicated to the psychology of the show, Batman: The Animated Series.  Have psychology related questions about Batman? Write to us via twitter @ArkhamSessions or on Facebook. Or visit our official website.

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