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Switching Time: A Doctor's Harrowing Story of Treating a Woman with 17 Personalities | [Richard Baer]

Switching Time: A Doctor's Harrowing Story of Treating a Woman with 17 Personalities

Switching Time is the first story centering on multiple personality disorder to be told by the treating physician. It is the incredible saga of a young woman stranded in unimaginable darkness who, in order to survive, created 17 different versions of herself. One by one, Karen's "alters" began showing themselves: men, women, young boys, a toddler, black, white, vicious, nurturing, prim, licentious. And their "stepping out" confronted Baer with the challenge of a lifetime.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Depressed, suicidal, complaining of strange pains and loss of time, "Karen" is referred to psychiatrist Richard Baer. During her treatment Baer determines that Karen has multiple personality disorder (MPD). Lloyd James's narration is mesmerizing. His narration never crosses the line into prurience. He states details matter-of-factly, including horrific tales of exploitation, cruelty, violence, torture, and ritual sexual abuse in Satanic cults. After years of therapy sessions and hypnosis, 17 separate personalities emerge. This perspective is unique because it is told from the point of view of the therapist. James's sensitive narration allows listeners to share Baer's initial skepticism, his eventual acceptance, and his thought processes as he tries to help. Fascinating listening.

Publisher's Summary

Switching Time is the first story centering on multiple personality disorder to be told by the treating physician. It is the incredible saga of a young woman stranded in unimaginable darkness who, in order to survive, created 17 different versions of herself.

In 1989, Karen Overhill walked into the office of psychiatrist Richard Baer complaining of depression. She poured out a litany of complaints, but in the disengaged way of someone who has experienced a terrible trauma. Slowly, Baer began to peel back the layers, eventually learning that Karen had been the victim of childhood sexual abuse. As time passed, though, his patient worsened and began to talk continually of suicide. Details of her abuse accumulated until he saw, via hypnosis, the true dimension of what Karen had suffered.

Baer was at a loss to explain Karen's sanity, precarious though it was, until he received a letter from a little girl, Claire. One by one, Karen's "alters" began showing themselves: men, women, young boys, a toddler, black, white, vicious, nurturing, prim, licentious. And their "stepping out" confronted Baer with the challenge of a lifetime. Somehow, to save Karen, he would have to gain the trust of her alters in order to destroy them.

©2007 Richard Baer, M.D.; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

What the Critics Say

"An important and insightful look into the world of a multiple." (Cameron West, author of First Person Plural)
"Vivid...loaded with fascinating details... richly rewarding." (Colin Ross, author of Multiple Personality Order and The Osiris Complex)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (359 )
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4.2 (194 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jennifer Hudson, WI, United States 05-27-09
    Jennifer Hudson, WI, United States 05-27-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Facinating!!!!"

    This book was amazing. Although, yikes the descriptions of her childhood are very graphic and very disturbing. However, here's a note, most of the really graphic stuff occurs in Chapter 3, I belive, titled "childhood horrors" or something. You can easily skip that chapter and still know what she went through without as much detail through descriptions at other times. I thought I was pretty thick skinned growing up in the horror movie and action flick era that we're in now, but I couldn't take that chapter. It made me ill. The rest of the book though, Fabulous. So interesting and informative about the life of someone with MPD. I was addicted to this book. Listening at every chance I got.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine New Mexico, United States 06-15-12
    Catherine New Mexico, United States 06-15-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Harsh and Disturbing"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'll not slam the author or the character in the story. However, I found the book too harsh and disturbing. I believe there is a way to tell the stories of those with DID without going into such graphic details about the abuse.

    Also, at times, I noticed inconsistencies in the doctor's therapy notes and a few things I found difficult to believe from the character. Again, that is my personal opinion and I developed that opinion from my own experiences.

    I do not recommend this book to anyone who is interested in truly learning about DID.

    I also strongly do not recommend anyone with DID listen to this book.



    What was most disappointing about Richard Baer’s story?

    The graphic nature in describing the abuse of the character


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 01-28-12
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 01-28-12 Member Since 2014

    50yrs old / audible member for 5 yrs library. 75% nonfiction, 15% classics and 10% fiction. History/Science/biography/Eng.18th cent fiction

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "jaw droppingly amazing!!"

    AN ASTOUNDING true story that blew my mind!! If you have any interest in how the mind works this is a must read. This incredible story which was written by her doctor remains at the top of my list of 350 books in my coveted favorites category. This book shows the unbelievable capabilities of our minds, which is far beyond our wildest imaginings.If there ever was a must read- this is it. This is a sleeper blockbuster if there ever was one!!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tricia Elkridge, MD, United States 08-30-11
    Tricia Elkridge, MD, United States 08-30-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Fascinating listen!"

    Very interesting listen. I normally listed to comtemporary fiction, but am glad I downloaded this audiobook.

    Beware: some of the content is tough to stomach (physical, verbal, mental, and sexual child abuse).

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily 01-18-15
    Emily 01-18-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow what a life"
    What made the experience of listening to Switching Time the most enjoyable?

    It was a very touching story. There were happy, shocking, and sad elements of the book. I could almost not stop listening.


    What other book might you compare Switching Time to and why?

    Endurance it is another amazing true story of people surviving the impossible.


    Have you listened to any of Lloyd James’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first, but he did a great job with the different characters.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It did both.


    Any additional comments?

    I would not want anyone else to go through what Karen went through. The book makes you aware of the crazy stuff that goes on in the world, and even help on what to look out for in children that may be suffering from abuse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Raleigh, NC, United States 11-25-14
    Denise Raleigh, NC, United States 11-25-14 Member Since 2008

    Addicted to Audible - I listen to at least three books a month while I'm out walking. I'm a motivational speaker based in North Carolina.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Harrowing is Listening to this Audiobook"

    I could no longer listen. So much horrible childhood abuse, so many completely random personalities. No real interest in the patient - more a self aggrandizement of the "boyishly good-looking" shrink. I grew so bored with these endless sessions and the detailed descriptions of childhood abuse (real? pretty far out there). No insights to be gained here - a vast, vast waste of time. Harrowing is indeed the word for it. Save yourself!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Storey 10-29-14 Member Since 2014
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    "This was never boring. What a chthisnge for her."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Certainly one of the better written books about mod that I've read.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Clare


    Have you listened to any of Lloyd James’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Living hell


    Any additional comments?

    Great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shellie LACLEDE, MO, United States 10-19-14
    Shellie LACLEDE, MO, United States 10-19-14
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    "eye - openingly genuine"
    Any additional comments?

    I purchased this book because it was on sale and the subject intrigued me. I was astonished by the brutality perpetuated on a child and in her coping mechanisms. This book has opened my eyes to child abuse in a way i never before imagined. Anyone who may have struggled with child abuse or would wish for it to never exist would benefit from this title. A STRONG recommendation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PERSONAL IRVINE, CA, United States 01-13-14
    PERSONAL IRVINE, CA, United States 01-13-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Harrowing and life affirming"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Switching Time to be better than the print version?

    I am a huge fan of audiobooks. I don't have much "down time" when I can do nothing but read. I found that I really missed reading and audio books have given that back to me. Lloyd James did a magnificent job! An incredible performance!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The encouragement of overcoming such devastation.
    This book is not for the faint of heart. A harrowing tale of a woman and her recovery from years of ritual sadistic abuse. I admit that as the understanding of her multiple personalities and the gravity of what she had endured, I thought to myself perhaps suicide was the answer for her. I was so wrong! Her journey to wholeness is such a beautiful and courageous experience. I'm so glad I didn't give up -- and that she didn't give up! I'm so touched by this book and encouraged to not give up on the issues in my own life.
    Thank you!


    Have you listened to any of Lloyd James’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will look for him in future purchases. He now feels like a friend.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This would be a great movie, but very intense. It would be important not to glorify the evil and give enough time to the recovery. It will be an artists job to find balance.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 01-09-14
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 01-09-14 Member Since 2014

    An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
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    "Another Statanist that goes Multiple!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, but it isn't a bad book, just more of the same. I loved the Sybil book but I understand that book has been discredited somewhat.


    Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

    Very easy to follow. Discovers missing time, thinks multiple and voila! she has 17 plus personalities. It's almost a formula.


    What three words best describe Lloyd James’s performance?

    Average, adequate and bland.


    Did Switching Time inspire you to do anything?

    Not get another of these kind of books...


    Any additional comments?

    I am very skeptical about Satanist cults and their tie in to multiple personality disorder. Has anyone ever been caught and tried for being in one of these cults?
    I have no doubt that children are abused every day, but from the stories in this book, why weren't there several children that had MPD in that area?
    Very hard to believe the entire premise.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
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