Random House LLC
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Switching Time: A Doctor's Harrowing Story of Treating a Woman with 17 Personalities Kindle Edition
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--Cameron West, bestselling author of FIRST PERSON PLURAL
“This is Dr. Baer’s incredibly moving and inspiring account of how his patient, Karen, drove herself to heal psychic wounds that surely would have devastated someone less resolute. Particularly fascinating is how Baer, despite frequently feeling overwhelmed, guided Karen to a place where she could risk knowing — and exploring — the horrors lurking in her elaborate inner world. Throughout the book, one marvels at this caring therapist and his immense honesty, courage and commitment.”
--Dena Rosenbloom, Ph.D., co-author of LIFE AFTER TRAUMA
“SWITCHING TIME takes the reader on an absorbing journey through a psychiatrist’s dauntingly challenging first case of multiple personality disorder -- from the beginning of therapy to stable integration and recovery. Vivid...loaded with fascinating details...a richly rewarding read."
-- Colin Ross, author of MULTIPLE PERSONALITY ORDER and THE OSIRIS COMPLEX
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B000W9176A
- Publisher : Crown; 1st edition (October 2, 2007)
- Publication date : October 2, 2007
- Language : English
- File size : 19713 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 363 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #446,379 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Although we learn a lot of horrific things about Karen's life, they are told in a matter-of-fact way that is not titillating. I was grateful for that.
The most engrossing facet of the book for me, and the reason I read it, was the complex relationship between doctor and patient, told from the doctor's point of view. I was in counseling for years with an excellent male therapist. I struggled with some of the same things Karen did - the nature of his attitude toward me (was he my friend? was this just a job? what did it mean that he seemed so invested in helping me, but it all came down to my paying him to care?) and making myself obey the unspoken boundaries. The book helped me understand & feel better about some of that. It was educational to read about how he approached doing his work, how he felt about it, his methodology. Because he rigidly kept from giving Karen any "leading," the account is absolutely believable as a true record of a woman with real MPD, an astonishing 17 persons inside her.
I loved getting to know the alters and watching as Dr Baer gained their trust. Dr Baer told this story with such heart and detail that I loved them all, except Sandy & Karen 2, who to me were just annoying. Miles and Jensen were my favorites, and it was really hard to see them "go." When Holdon integrated, I actually felt some melancholy. He had taken such amazing care of her and the others, as had Miles in his particular way. Miles' distress, and his outburst to Dr Baer about what it would mean for Karen to integrate with him, is beautiful and haunting.
It was rewarding to watch Karen become more of a complex, well-rounded woman with each integration. She was presented at the start as a negative, helpless woman who wouldn't do anything to change, but in fact even then she was being courageous beyond words, just in seeking to get help. Her bravery and her determination were admirable and inspirational.
I did feel like the last section of the book was a little rushed. It had less detail, less depth the further it went, to the point where I almost felt like I didn't really know who Karen ended up being. For this reason, I'd have given 1/2 a star less if I could've. But this is my only complaint. (Maybe a sequel is in order?)
This is by far my longest review ever, and I will end it by giving this riveting memoir my most sincere recommendation.
I also learned some things about psychiatrists, mainly that they're human and a lot of what they do is trial and error. Based on what I read I admired Dr. Baer's ability to step back and not incorporate his agenda onto Karen's. I found the different egos each alter exhibited, the different hand writings, and the reason they were "born" educational and enlightening.
I found the integration of the alters into Karen fascinating as I read about this woman becoming whole again. For those reviews that say it was repetitious, I would argue that eighteen years of "rebuilding" such a tragic case as Karen didn't happen overnight. To restore her to be able to function again had to have been painstakingly repetitious.
I couldn't imagine a happy ending for this story for either the psychiatrist or the patient. I'm grateful I had a chance to read and understand more fully what our minds can and cannot handle. I'm also grateful I had a chance to read such a story in this format rather than a psychiatric study or textbook. Switching Time breaks down a complicated subject and makes it more easy to understand for a lay person.
Top reviews from other countries
Suitable for therapy staff working in this field.