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Switching Time: A Doctor's Harrowing Story…
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Switching Time: A Doctor's Harrowing Story of Treating a Woman with 17… (edition 2008)

by Richard Baer (Author)

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3151563,721 (3.84)5
"One afternoon in 1989, Karen Overhill walks into psychiatrist Richard Baer's office complaining of vague physical pains and depression. Odder still, she reveals that she's suffering from a persistent memory problem. Routinely, she "loses" parts of her day, finding herself in places she doesn't remember going to or being told about conversations she doesn't remember having. Her problems are so pervasive that she often feels like an impersonator in her own life; she doesn't recognize the people who call themselves her friends, and she can't even remember being intimate with her own husband." "Baer recognizes that Karen is on the verge of suicide and, while using various medications to keep her alive, tries to discover the root cause of her strange complaints. It's the work of months, and then years, to gain Karen's trust and learn the true extent of the trauma buried in her past. What she eventually reveals is nearly beyond belief, a narrative of a childhood spent grappling with unimaginable horror. How has Karen survived with even a tenuous grasp on sanity?" "Then Baer receives an envelope in the mail. It's marked with Karen's return address but contains a letter from a little girl who writes that she's seven years old and lives inside of Karen. Soon Baer receives letters from others claiming to be parts of Karen. Under hypnosis, these alternate Karen personalities reveal themselves in shocking variety and with undeniable traits - both physical and psychological. One "alter" is a young boy filled with frightening aggression; another an adult male who considers himself Karen's protector; and a third a sassy flirt who says she emerges when Karen has sex. It's only by compartmentalizing her pain, guilt, and fear in this fashion - by "switching time" with alternate selves as the situation warrants - that Karen has been able to function since childhood." "Realizing that his patient represents an extreme case of multiple personality disorder, Baer faces the daunting task of creating a therapy that will make Karen whole again. Somehow, in fact, he must gain the trust of each of Karen's seventeen "alters" and convince them of the necessity of their own annihilation."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
Member:AddoStew
Title:Switching Time: A Doctor's Harrowing Story of Treating a Woman with 17 Personalities
Authors:Richard Baer (Author)
Info:Broadway Books (2008), Edition: Reprint, 360 pages
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Switching Time: A Doctor's Harrowing Story of Treating a Woman with 17 Personalities by Richard Baer

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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
I'm not sure what to think of this book. It wasn't terribly well written; however, it's not necessarily a book for entertainment value.

I do appreciate that Dr. Baer admitted when he wasn't sure that all the stories of abuse were true. I have read quite a few stories of survival. It's astounding the shape sexual abuse can take. It's Karen's tales of ritual abuse and Satan worship that sends up the red flags - it is true or not. Were all those people involved? There were quite a few people that were said to be a part of the rituals, sex parties and other things.

However, we know that everyone can see an event in a different light. And children can interpret things in their own special ways. I can't imagine what Karen went through.

The book reads as if we were reading Dr. Baer's own notes instead of an actual narrative. I also felt that things were repeated over and over again as if the author knew he needed more words to make the story longer.

I think the sub-title is a little too dramatic for this book. A Harrowing Story - the harrowing thing is not his treatment but Karen's abuse.

The book was pretty dull to be honest. It might have been more interesting if Dr. Baer had taken time to flush out his descriptions and meetings with the alters. I felt like he glossed over them. They were very two-dimensional. Alters are, if anything, NOT two-dimensional.

The premise of the book was interesting, but if you're interested in the psychology and the stories of multiple personality disorders, I suggest Cybil or another book. ( )
  wendithegray | May 1, 2017 |
Written in a manner that held my attention and gave observations. Interesting read. ( )
  mystic506 | Sep 3, 2016 |
This was a strange read. It was reminiscent of Sybil, which made me skeptical as Sybil was found to be a fraud years after the book and movie. Apart from the similarity to Sybil the story of Karen is interesting. The descriptions of abuse are heartbreaking. The description of the therapy sessions by Dr. Baer keep the story and context flowing, which I appreciated.

The book is well written. I cannot say it has made a believer out of me. It has convinced me that Dr. Baer believes in the story he wrote. In particular it was his afterward that persuades the reader that he documented this case all the way through and truly believed in the multiple personalities of Karen. ( )
  jlsimon7 | Mar 1, 2015 |
This book was amazing - right from the start, the story gripped me and i wasn't able to put it down. ( )
  aBohemian1 | Jul 11, 2012 |
Interesting yet disturbing account of real multiple personality patient, the abuse she suffered, and her journey to recovery. ( )
  LynnSigman | Dec 8, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
An amazing true story written by the psychiatrist treating Karen for almost 20 years.

Thanks for enlightening me further into the illness, Dissociate Identity Disorder and helping me understand it more to be able to further support my friend.

added by erikahare | editPersonal (Jan 25, 2010)
 
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"One afternoon in 1989, Karen Overhill walks into psychiatrist Richard Baer's office complaining of vague physical pains and depression. Odder still, she reveals that she's suffering from a persistent memory problem. Routinely, she "loses" parts of her day, finding herself in places she doesn't remember going to or being told about conversations she doesn't remember having. Her problems are so pervasive that she often feels like an impersonator in her own life; she doesn't recognize the people who call themselves her friends, and she can't even remember being intimate with her own husband." "Baer recognizes that Karen is on the verge of suicide and, while using various medications to keep her alive, tries to discover the root cause of her strange complaints. It's the work of months, and then years, to gain Karen's trust and learn the true extent of the trauma buried in her past. What she eventually reveals is nearly beyond belief, a narrative of a childhood spent grappling with unimaginable horror. How has Karen survived with even a tenuous grasp on sanity?" "Then Baer receives an envelope in the mail. It's marked with Karen's return address but contains a letter from a little girl who writes that she's seven years old and lives inside of Karen. Soon Baer receives letters from others claiming to be parts of Karen. Under hypnosis, these alternate Karen personalities reveal themselves in shocking variety and with undeniable traits - both physical and psychological. One "alter" is a young boy filled with frightening aggression; another an adult male who considers himself Karen's protector; and a third a sassy flirt who says she emerges when Karen has sex. It's only by compartmentalizing her pain, guilt, and fear in this fashion - by "switching time" with alternate selves as the situation warrants - that Karen has been able to function since childhood." "Realizing that his patient represents an extreme case of multiple personality disorder, Baer faces the daunting task of creating a therapy that will make Karen whole again. Somehow, in fact, he must gain the trust of each of Karen's seventeen "alters" and convince them of the necessity of their own annihilation."--BOOK JACKET.

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