Reviews

“An important and insightful look into the world of a multiple.”
-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

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27 Comments

  1. Karen,Hi,

    I am visiting the states from my country. I speak and read english and would like to know what other languages does the book come in? I would love for others to read it too, others who don’t speak english. I find your book very intersting and inspiring. Is the title the same in other countries?

  2. Karen,

    Excellent Book! Richard Baer captured your story so accurately that I wish to study this disorder further. The mind work between you the patient, and he the doctor, must’ve been electrical. How you managed to stay sane is remarkably insane. Thank you for this addition to the world of pyschiatry. There was so little accurate information on mpd that I assumed it didn’t exist. I assumed it was a made up, attention seeking illness. I have read this book twice for accuracy and higly recommended it to my colleagues. Thank you.

    Joel

  3. […] Comments Joel on ReviewsCynthia on Q&A With Karen: Question 1Karen Answers Crysatalyn « Switching Time on […]

  4. Karen, Was your past experience of abuse related to interracial relationships with different cultures and ethnicities that resided in your old neighborhood? Could this be reason for your father’s prejudices in lu of creating a black alter? How did your father’s racism effect your view on all ethnicities? Of what race and decent are you? Stanley

  5. Dear Karen and Dr. Baer,

    Thank you for givng a raional voice to the horror of child molestation, abuse and incest. I am struggling with dissociative issues, have for a long time but find most of what is written about DID and dissociative experiences to be so bizarre I cannot embrace it I have been diagnosed with MPD, then DID after it was renamed, but it doesn’t matter what it’s called it is helll. I am a mental health paraprofessional so am more aware than many of the vast possibilities and capabilities of the human mind and the depth of courage it must have taken for you to seek therapy. I feel a kinship with you but am also humbled by your experiences. I do not know if others truly populate my head, sometimes I think there are others but most of the time it feels like a game, and i can stop at any time. My therapist and I both have doubts about the DID diagnosis, due mostly to the sensationalism that the media has painted. it was as you surely know the diagnosis of the week and some of the behaviors i saw and books I read did nothing to dispel my disbelief. this book along with Dr. Ross’s book have offered me some solace – I am not just trying to jump on the popular wagon so I can feel if only for a moment that I belong and am human.

    I am very deeply touched by your struggles, courage and compassion in writing this book and think maybe there is hope for me as well I have always believed suicide would be waiting for me at the end of my days, this gives me the idea that maybe, just maybe that can change. Thank you.

  6. Karen,

    Absolutely fascinating book! After reading it I sat back and wondered where your mind took you for comfort when you were a child? What brought you enjoyment? What made you smile? What kept your mind from frying? What did you wish for back in those days? What could have caused you to end your life when you were young? What do you wish for these days? What would cause you to end your life these days?

    You are a true miracle, stay well, keep talking, stay safe, keep well.

    Richard

  7. I read that you were a multiple mom. Did you hear about the show coming out about you. At least it should be your story. Who stole your story to do this? Are you suing?

  8. Have to review your book! Incredible! Overwhelming! Powerful! Honorable! Hopeful! Encouraging! Irresistable! Inconceivable! Invincible! I know there’s more words to describe this book! I could go on and on. Your mind, Karen and Richard Baer’s mind must have been in constantly challenged! Richard Baer is genius! Karen is brilliant! Two souls merging together to figure out the impossible, integration. Two minds, one journey, you both make the psych world more interesting.

    Professor

  9. Dear Karen,

    How are you this time of year? Halloween’s almost here, how does this holiday make you feel? What do you usually do on this holiday? Do you still live in fear, stay hidden inside or found a way to accept things for what they are? I read Switching Time months ago and it came to me about how you deal with reminders during certain holiday events since every holiday was tainted in horror including Christmas?

    Stay positive, pray towards heaven but row towards shore.

    Bridget

  10. Hi Karen,

    Great story! Crazy in so many distinguished ways and so utterly mind bggling. I can comprehend and grasp your constand headaches. I had one trying to perceive it all. This book well covered an entire therapeutic history. Congratulations to you on recovering and congratulations to Richard Baer on accomplishing the art of writing and publishing a book! Remarkable, immense and unusual!

    S. Jefferson

  11. In your mind do you hypothesis multiplicity? Were you easily hypnotized before, during and after integration? In your opinion, Did you recoil quickly after your sessions? Is this book an hyperbole, exaggeration? Very mesmerizing, well written.

    Trevor

  12. This is an amazing book of one doctor and one patient. It’s one of a kind, never has there been anything written such as this story. A truly remarkable addition to every psychology student and professors library. All who read will be taken on a once in a life time journey to the inner workings of the mind of one multiple personality patient and the mind of her therapist. A beautifully intense read. This book proves there are doctors who take the extra steps and do the right thing by taking on an extreme case, holding the rein and not letting go. As for Karen, what a patient to not let go and give up on the therapy. In the psych. world not many can tolerate such intensity for so many needed years of psychoanalytic based sessions. Unbelievable and worth reading!

  13. First, a word about my own perspective on the practice of psychiatry. It’s hogwash! Raised in the Roman Catholic tradition I began my professional study in psychiatry after completing undergraduate work in philosophy. My studies included critical examination of christian scriptures. There is no such mention of this illness. I work from the conviction that it is my professional responsibilty to ask critical questions about the nature and function of your therapeutic relationship with Richard Baer MD and his diagnosis. One might legitimately ask whether my background might lead me to compare other illnesses using my own background experience as some sort of standard. I have sought to set up categories of this claimed diagnosis for comparabilty that privilege no particulars. I draw from a broad spectrum of concepts, and in no instance engage in the comparative evaluation of truthful claims on multiple personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder. I conclude and question. I am equally convinced that human beings are incapable of accomplishing dissociation to this extreme. Karen inflates her human capabilty beyond science. One of the most useful tasks we as humans could all relate to is understanding the reality of how and why each of believes in what we do.

    Simon

  14. What a way to bring forth a great deal of understanding to a complex condition. The book Switching Time has shed light on not only abuse, dissociation, trauma, religion, survival, illness but prejudice. How were you able to change the learned behavior regarding prejudice? Did you express your changed belief with your father? What would he have done to you if you befriended a black man?

    N. McCormack

  15. Thanks Karen, I read the current ones and as usual I find them interesting to read. I can understand why it can seem so repititious because that’s how the questions are – hmm, they all read the same book! You are always so kind and gentle in your responses. As I read I thought, “What a great newspaper column this would make.” Keep up the good words. Love, dak

  16. Happy Thanksgiving Day, Miss Karen.

    Did you know you are on some people’s minds today? Well, you are. Thank you for sharing your life with us who hurt. I am thankful you did. I feel depressed today but will be okay because after reading Switching Time I gained faith and the courage to get help. I start therapy next Wednesday. My life by no means compares to yours, am not mpd or did, but if you can survive I can to. How do you spend Thanksgiving, what do you do? Whatever you do today may you be happy not sad. Good day!

    Love, Thankful Annie

  17. Karen,

    I am so darn frustrated. I read your book and spent many hours trying to find how to ask you a question. Isn’t there an easier way. It’s so hard to get to you. I tried the website and came up with thousands of lines of information that didn’t lead me to ask you a question. If it weren’t for my BBF I would’ve said forget it. I almost forgot the question, actually I did. Oh yeah, What makes you so sure you will not dissociate again? What would forewarn you? I can’t buy that integration was complete. It just doesn’t compute? Oh, the book was a definite page turner. I barely put it down long enough to releave myself.

    Love,
    Nell

  18. This story, your story, has shocked me. I found reading Switching Time a rude awakening to child sexual abuse in the center of families who appear normal but arent. This book was extraordinary and took me on a journey of realistic unimaginable proportions. Great accomplishment! All should read this book,especially psych students, professors and doctors.

  19. Did any of your alters ever cause you to be arrested? I am an person with seven alters and one of them has recent;y become a serious problem. I don’t know what to do. We are all in therapy and Beau, a alter of mine keeps starting fights everytime he’s out. My psychologist bailed me out of jail twice. It’s so emnbarassing and hard for me to accept. I’d do anything to stop this alter.including die. What would your therapist do? Did this ever happen to you with your alters Miles, Karl or other?

    Connor,
    host of seven

  20. MPD? DID? Who cares what it’s called? It’s the same. I had read Switching Time and it’s very informative. My question is why isn’t Richard Baer doing anything to help this book along? If I were him I’d be talking this week with the introduction of the new series USOT. What’s wrong with him? Did he die or something or simply doesn’t give a damn anymore? I assumed he was after a cause to improve the medical field and lives of patients who suffer. Tsk. Tsk.

    Professor at NW

  21. Hi Karen,

    God it’s hard to ask a question on this blog. It took ten minutes to figure it out? I nearly said forget it. This story of yours is fascinating. I gained interest after watching a documentarty. I am very interested in knowing more about how you dissociated pain. I read Switching Time. I loved it! Could you please share an example of how you dissociated pain, something not in the book that is simpler to understand. One episode of where people around you didn’t know you were hurt when you were, a blood and guts moment if you don’t mind? I find your brain amazing. Thank you.

    Jonathan Lee
    Want-to-be-med-student

  22. Let me get this straight. Karen, you bring forth curiosity about mpd. In the answer you provided Jonathan Lee you shared an incident that clearly was not of abuse yet you dissociated anyway. Please elaborate on this fascinating switching alters process. What exactly causes a switch to occur? In that show USoT Tara switches but what causes her too.? I can’t buy any simple reason for her to do it. Did your alters come out all the time like hers in the show, were they a regular part of your daily life?

    You are a great asset to all who must suffer from dissociative disorders. How did your psychiatrist keep up with each alter, is it not true he had to treat seventeen parts of you? That’s like a full-time job all in itself. In USoT not too much was mentioned of her therapy. I can’t wait to see tonights episode. Are you going to see it?

  23. Awesome work! Thanks for your time and effort in providing help to others. The book of your life was an exhausting read but definitely knowledgable. I learned more about multiple personality from Switching Time then any other book written on this illness. Most books don’t include the healing process. My sister has been diagnosed with DID and I thought she was full of crap. I knew she was abused when we were kids because I witnessed our father rapeing her. I never told her about this when I was thirteen and she eleven because at the timeI thought shewantedhim to do it to her. . I didn’t say anything because I should’ve stopped him and didn’t. I have lived with this guilt for ten years and first started feeling ill now. My sister is in therapy and the doctor want’s to meet me. Should I go and tell the truth? Is it to late? I watch that new show and my sister doesn’t act like Tara so she must not have DID right? I am torn. What if my sister won’tlikeme anymore? I should’ve helpedher long aga instead of judgeing her.

    I needed to tell someone I chose you.

  24. Karen, I know you write you had been integrated but how is it possible not to have had any effects from this? I pondered asking you these questions in my attempt to understand but how is it possible that your pain was removed? After alter Julie integrated did you ever suffer leg pain again? What about headaches? Did integration cure your headaches?

    I am in awe of you but feel Richard Baer didn’t treat you very well. I know the book shows he did but while reading inbetween the lines I felt something. He hurt you, didn’t he?

    Thank you for telling your story. I will share it with some of my friends who would appreciate the truth about your disorder.

    God Bless YOU!
    Lovely (Yes, my real name)

  25. Okay, Karen, you answered that the series unites states of tara wasn’t about you life. I think you and Richard Baer should check into that a bit more. In episode 8 one of Taras alters calims to be pregnanat. In your book the same thing happened. Do all multiple people, women, become pregnant at some point in the therapy? See what I mean, too damn coincidental! I am a fan of yours and the show but the similarities have me pissed off. What is Richard Baer or your agent doing about this?

    Benton is Concerned

  26. Hello Karen,

    My questions are: Do you have psychic powers that enable you to forsee by expression how to read people? I heard that mulptiple personalities have an extreme sense of knowing many things ahead of time. Can you explain the ability you have now compared to what you had while in the process of creating your alters for survival?

    The book, extremely fascinating. The doctor, arrogant and self-centered. You, gifted beyond imagination.

    Frank

  27. Karen,
    I find you fascinating and quite knowledgeable. I found your comments on the USoT message board quite useful in my practice. As a therapist I appreciate your concern in not claiming to be a professional. It’s quite thoughtful and sincere of you to share from your personal experiences. In fifteen years of medical school I have learned more from your input on D.I.D. than what was covered in text. I’d like to commend you for your effort to help. I have met Richard Baer. What he did was no easy task. As a medical professional I would have transfered you and treat only the medicinal part of your therapy. IMO it took two. You and Richard Baer.

    BHJ MD


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