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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 (386 )
5 star
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4.2 (219 )
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4.2 (218 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nik 12-02-11
    Nik 12-02-11 Member Since 2007

    Enjoying audiobooks daily!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    78
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    108
    76
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    FOLLOWING
    6
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    Story
    "A Crazy Read"
    What did you love best about Switching Time?

    It engrossed me and appalled me because of the levels of human depravity and compassion.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The relationship between the doctor and patient was complex.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Lloyd James?

    I suppose so. It was done fairly well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. It was too brutal at times to want that.


    Any additional comments?

    Only read this book if you have the stomach to relive the protagonist's miserable past.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debora Chandler, AZ, United States 10-21-11
    Debora Chandler, AZ, United States 10-21-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Amazing Story"

    This subject interested me and I was amazed at how each moment captured my attention. I was so touched how this story was true for a young lady who was a victim of her environment but came through the best she could handle. My hat is off to you Dr. Baer for your years of commitment and compassion with this doctor/patient relationship in doing what is best for the patient. I understand now how someone with multiple personalities deals with life's toughest challenges and how our mind develops safety nets to get us through. Wow! I am honored to have experienced this audible book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara San Ramon, CA, United States 08-20-11
    Barbara San Ramon, CA, United States 08-20-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    This was one of the best books I have ever read. Multiple Personality Disorder is a fascinating topic by itself, but going on this journey with the author - the treating psychiatrist - and his patient (Karen) was a real insight into the disorder. From the opening lines to the closing epilogue, I was swept into Karen's world and felt her pain, sadness, and ultimate healing. The book is not for the faint-hearted, but well worth the time put into listening. A testiment to the human spirit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah PROVIDENCE, RI, United States 07-19-11
    Deborah PROVIDENCE, RI, United States 07-19-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Whoa way too much"

    I am going into psychiatry and even I could not handle this book. I only got through the first 10 chapters but it was soooo depressing. I understand that this is the woman's life, but I can't handle it. Just FYI--it's very graphic and distrubing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 08-23-10
    Diane Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 08-23-10 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    "Unbelievable, heartbreaking and eye openner"

    Being a student for psychology and counselling, I believe, Dr. Bard has used every proper technique to help his client and I have learnt from it. This story is unimaginable, all about surviving. Recommended for anyone who think they are having a hard time in life. Thank you for sharing this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    avid reader 06-06-09
    avid reader 06-06-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unbelievable (not in a good way)"

    I thought this audiobook was simply horrible on every level. I've listened to dozens of audiobooks over the years, and I can honestly tell you that this is the first one I just couldn't bear finishing. I thought "Sybil" (both the book and the movie) was compelling, interesting, fascinating, saddening, and horrifying (as well as believable). But I can't believe I wasted a credit on this completely ridiculous piece of nonsense. By "non-sense" I mean: it doesn't make sense. Are we supposed to believe that just about every single adult in the MPD woman's childhood sexually abused her, including devil-worshiping neighbors, father, grandfather, uncle, etc.? I mean, I'm assuming this is supposed to be factual, right? The MD who wrote the book is the same MD narrating the series of events in the book, correct? There are parts in this book that are just laughably unbelievable -- like the Christmas card all 17 personalities signed for the doctor, each with his or her own little message (boy, that must have been one of those novelty over-sized holiday cards!). I can't even begin to debate how far-fetched and transparently false the events in this book must be. Even now I am spending too much time thinking about this James Frey-worthy monstrosity while I write this review. I just want to erase it from my mind as quickly as possible.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Minot AFB, ND, USA 05-29-09
    Rebecca Minot AFB, ND, USA 05-29-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Absolutely fascinating!"

    This book is very engaging, I could not stop listening. The characters are very vivid, including the alters. The narration was near perfect, and as I said, I could not stop listening to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 05-12-09
    Jeff Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 05-12-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Long, but fantastic voice acting"

    This book is quite interesting, though it did go on for quite some time. I suppose it could have been shorter... that would have given us the main idea. However, the voice acting of Lloyd James was outstanding. He changed his voice for each "alter", giving us a rather vivid perspective of the phenomenon (since a real person that suffers from MPD must also use the same vocal chords for their different personalities). Well done, Lloyd!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Pottstown, PA, USA 12-23-08
    Jennifer Pottstown, PA, USA 12-23-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little long, but very good"

    Switching Time was about an extremely complex person, but the book itself was easy to follow. This book was very interesting and I would listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harris 07-17-08
    Harris 07-17-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The best way to lose time"

    The character in this book who has 17 personalities often describes "losing time" when one of her alters takes over. That's how I felt - when I listened to this book, I would become completely absorbed and suddenly "come to" after a hour or so. Great for exercising! Some of the other reviews describe how hard it is to listen to the details of Karen's abuse, but I did not think it was unbearable. The descriptions were necessary for the plot but not overly graphic. Loved the narration. A great listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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