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Editorial 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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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  • Story

I just can't eat this hook, line and sinker.

I understand that dissociative identity disorder is a very controversial diagnosis. I recently had someone in my social circle claim they have been diagnoses with it. I have a degree in psychology, and have read many, many books on neurology, brain disorders and mental illness. I wanted to learn more about DID and the people who suffer from it. I went into this book wanting to see the personal story of someone in the hopes that it would give me insight into the identification and diagnosis of DID.

I've also spent a lot of time reading personal biographies and case studies from psychologists dealing with a wide range of interesting brain disorders and mental illnesses. There are consistencies among all of them that make them very believable. I've also spent a lot of time looking at the Satanic Panic and evidence of a vast conspiracy of satanic ritual abuse. There's a complete lack of evidence to back up any of the claims put forth by people that organized Satanism, as a perversion presented by 'godly' people, even exists.

This book was not the book to encourage my research. As soon as we started getting to the parts about satanic ritual abuse, I shut down. I have no doubt that Karen experienced significant childhood abuse, much of it probably sexual and physical. I am sure that no matter what, this woman has been severely damaged by her past, and needs help in recovering from her experiences. I do doubt that there was a conspiracy amongst the church priest, head of police, and her father (the town undertaker), amongst other prominent members of the community, to ritually abuse via satanism, this little girl.

Beyond that, even if Karen is heavily fantasy prone, and conflated much of the pop culture multiple personality disorder and satanic cult nonsense of the 80s with her own memory, the accounts of her absorbing the other personalities just seems soooo...not how the brain works in dealing with dissociation. This reads as bad fiction based on a true story in the same way the Amityville Horror reads.

If you are interested in learning more about DID, this is not the book to start with. I couldn't even finish it. I feel horrible for the things that Karen probably went through as a child, but this book is entirely exploitative sensationalism.

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Amazing strength

I was mesmerized by this story. Many of the details are just impossible to stomach but Karen's strength and resourcefulness is inspiring.

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a great book

I loved the book the true story of multiples is an interesting subject for me

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Fantastic and Inspiring story.

Thank you so much for sharing this journey. As a psychology teacher I appreciate the information you shared as do my students.

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  • Cid
  • LAGUNA BEACH, CA, United States
  • 07-01-15

Interesting and Horrific

What did you love best about Switching Time?

I have to agree, this book is a bit like watching a train wreck, ghastly and riveting all at the same time.

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Excellent true, moving story of a multiple personality told by a psychiatrist.

A truly amazing story of a troubled patient who is cured by a caring psychiatrist. Through his care, he brings his patient back to a normal world in which she can function in society and realize that there are people who do care.

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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.

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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'

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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.

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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.