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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

4.1 (381 )
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4.2 (215 )
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4.2 (214 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Elizabeth Console Syracuse, NY USA 08-09-09
    Elizabeth Console Syracuse, NY USA 08-09-09 Member Since 2013

    Beth

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    "Mesmerizing Story!"

    Switching Time is a mesmerizing story and I could hardly turn it off!! Dr. Baer did a wonderful job giving enough detail of why someone would develop 17 personalities without making the story about the abuse. It is a wonderful story of survival and recovery that I highly recommend.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Hudson, WI, United States 05-27-09
    Jennifer Hudson, WI, United States 05-27-09 Member Since 2011
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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
  •  
    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
  •  
    Becky PA 04-26-15
    Becky PA 04-26-15 Member Since 2013

    Becky

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    "Fascinating and heartbreaking"

    Although this was at times very difficult to listen to because of the horrific abuse she endured, it was also such an uplifting story of survival. I'm glad I listened too it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey 04-07-15
    Tracey 04-07-15
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    "Amazing story"

    It is truly amazing to think about how the human mind can create different personalities to protect oneself. This is truly a spectacular story of one woman's journey thru the struggles of reintegration with the help of an exceptional Doctor. So worth the 'read'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Morris 03-30-15
    M. Morris 03-30-15 Member Since 2014
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    "MPD is real"
    Any additional comments?

    I didn't completely believe in MPD until I heard this audio book. The shocking thing was that each personality had its own intelligence. Some of them had low intelligence and average or less than average vocabulary. Some of the personalities had a huge vocabulary and were very articulate. I don't think this could be faked. The "original" person, who was paying (or not paying) the psychiatrist was not so bright, so it was shocking to hear from very intelligent personalities within her.

    While the patient was not able to pay for all her treatment, I bet the psychiatrist got even more money from the sales of this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Levi Murray 02-23-15
    Levi Murray 02-23-15
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    "Amazing"

    Amazing detailed account of a Doctors work with a patient with D.I.D. The book drew me in from the very start and kept my attention until the very end. It was hard to put it down once I started this book so I ended up finishing it over a day and a half. Will definitely listen to this one again.

    The performance was well done and it soon became easy to even tell the distinctive voices of each alter.

    0 of 0 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.

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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!!

    1 of 2 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
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