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Psychological Analysis of Harley Quinn

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Kasey Leamon

on 23 May 2014

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Transcript of Psychological Analysis of Harley Quinn

Psychological Analysis of Harley Quinn
Early Life
Harley Quinn otherwise known as Harleen Quinzel was very troubled as a child. It's speculated according to her Brooklyn accent that she is indeed from Brooklyn, New York. As a child she was heavily abused by her Father which later in her story the Joker uses to earn her companionship and empathy. Harley Quinn's abuse contributes to her compulsion and histrionic disorder later in life.
Before Harley Quinn took on her alternate persona she was Dr. Harleen Quinzel. She was a very prestigious student who received her doctorate in psychiatric medicine. Shortly after receiving her PhD she began working at Arkham Asylum, Gotham city's largest prison for psychotic criminals, in a therapeutic setting with many of the patients. This setting is where she met the Joker.
Affiliation with The Joker
Harley Quinn was formerly The Joker's therapist before being considered his sidekick. The Joker begins giving Dr. Quinzel flowers and treating her with ample charm and affection. Also Joker lies to Dr. Quinzel and tells her that he was also abused and at one point tells her a moving story that stirs her empathy and brings her to tears.
Affiliation Continued
Dr. Quinzel becomes obsessed with the Joker over a period of a few months. Over these months the Joker develops a plan to escape by winning over Dr. Quinzel's love and convince her that he is worthy of escape from Arkham Asylum. Dr. Quinzel faces a psychotic break and turns herself fully into her alter ego Harley Quinn. Dressed as Harley Quinn she breaks into
Arkham Asylum and helps the Joker escape. After this incident Dr. Harleen Quinzel is never seen again as she remains constantly in her alter ego of Harley Quinn.
Breakdown of Disorders
Form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Compulsive obsession with the Joker


Personality Disorders
- Histrionic Disorder
- Antisocial Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Usually compulsive disorder relates to actions, numbers or objects, but in Harley Quinn's case she has a form of compulsive obsession with the Joker. Despite how emotionally abusive, degrading and untrustworthy the Joker is Harley's only motivation for almost every one of her actions is to impress and please him. She does whatever he asks, including hurting innocent people, stealing, and constantly attempting to murder the Batman all for the sake of pleasing him and earning his "love." In her few attempts to seperate from him she is unsuccessful and returns to him after only a short period of time.
Personality Disorders
Histrionic -
Harley Quinn displays all the classic signs of histrionic personality disorder. Harley's costumes, actions and words are often inappropriately sexual and uncalled for completely. She also talks extremely loudly and has a habit of making every situation about her. For example things like telling jokes and doing tricks in fights.

Antisocial -
Harley Quinn also has the basic trademarks of antisocial disorder; disregard for human life, inability to understand other's emotions and no sense of regret for wrongdoings. She is continually unapologetic and unsympathetic.

Degree and Career
Treatment
For Harley Quinn's treatment I would use a cognitive behavioral approach. For the Obsessive compulsion I would require an absolute separation from the joker. I would also use group therapy to treat all three disorders, showing her the value of human life(antisocial), allowing other people to be the center of attention(histrionic), and forming other relationships other than those with the joker(compulsion). One on one therapy would also be necessary to treat the way she originally approaches situations and to treat her former abuse and fear of abandonment.
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