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.
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.
"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)
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.
The graphic nature in describing the abuse of the character
It depends how you like to spend your time. This book is very interesting. It's hard to imagine that a person could go through such horrific things in life and continue functioning. It's also amazing to hear how our minds can go to such lengths to protect us. The on-going description of all the terrible experiences this woman endured does take a toll on the reader. Toward the end it also felt a bit monotonous.
Sure, I'd read another book from Richard Baer. I like his personality. He is business, funny & caring.
There were WAY too many to choose from. The performer that read this book was great. This book would certainly make it challenging, trying to keep all the personalities strait.
Yeah, it's worth the time if the psyche interests you, and if you can handle the horrific details included (I almost could not).
The reason that I gave this book a lower rating than the performer + story would equal, is because I HATED the logistics of how it was set up on Audible. The book is about 13 hours long & is broke into only two parts. That's it. If you lose your place on the ipod by bumping it or whatever, like I often did, good luck finding your place. It was very frustrating. I almost didn't finish the book because I was sooo tired of fast forwarding though literally half the book. Common' break it into chapters!
Enjoying audiobooks daily!
It engrossed me and appalled me because of the levels of human depravity and compassion.
The relationship between the doctor and patient was complex.
I suppose so. It was done fairly well.
No. It was too brutal at times to want that.
Only read this book if you have the stomach to relive the protagonist's miserable past.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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