That's how the Light Gets in: Memoir of a Psychiatrist

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Harmony Books, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 207 pages
Susan Rako seemed to have it all. She was a piano prodigy at eight, a highly intelligent teenager focused on academics and determined to study medicine, and then a wife, mother, and M.D., all before thirty. But she knew at her core that her spirit was clouded by despair. Dr. Rako was drawn to the study and practice of psychiatry as a seeker of truth about herself and others, and as much to free herself as to be of help to her patients.

Dr. Rako was in her forties before years of therapy—both given and received—freed her to explore her innate and broad-based creativity. A well-respected Boston psychiatrist, Susan Rako has also become a pioneering expert on women’s reproductive health and a writer whose incisive intelligence enables her to pierce through clutter to deeper meaning. In That’s How the Light Gets In, she gives us important life lessons through example. What she has learned, through decades of experience as a trusted psychiatrist who has helped hundreds of people—and through her own self-exploration and therapy—is distilled in a lyrically wrought memoir that truly does illuminate that which makes us human and makes life an adventure of magic and mystery.

That’s How the Light Gets In is an intelligent and intensely personal story from a highly respected doctor, author, and advocate for women’s health issues. Dr. Rako’s insightful stories of self, family, friends, patients, and colleagues bear witness to the power of discovering and standing to one’s truth. Susan Rako will inspire you to look within yourself and acknowledge your deepest ambitions, develop your own imagination, and learn to break through the boundaries and limitations that each of us places on ourselves. That’s How the Light Gets In will inspire you to live the life you’ve always wanted to live—the life of your dreams.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Amniot - LibraryThing

A fast read. There's much less about the actual practice of psychiatry than one would expect from the title. The book consists mostly of anecdotes from the author's personal history (single mother who ... Read full review

That's how the light gets in: a memoir of a psychiatrist

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In her memoir, Rako (The Hormone of Desire ) describes formative experiences in her life and her practice of psychiatry. Beginning with her childhood in Worcester, MA, where she had a largely unhappy ... Read full review


Mother Music and Me
LifeGiving Times 5 9

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About the author (2005)

Susan Rako, M.D., is the acclaimed author of two previous books, The Hormone of Desire and No More Periods? Beginning with education at Wellesley College and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, followed by specialty training in psychiatry at Harvard’s Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Dr. Rako established, more than thirty years ago, an active psychiatric practice in Boston that she continues to serve and to enjoy. In 2003 she founded the educational nonprofit, Women’s Health on Alert, Inc. (WHOA). On a parallel track with her medical work, in 1988 Dr. Rako earned an M.S. in film production from Boston University College of Communication. In May 2005, as executive producer, she brought the Boston premier of the play Hysterics to the Lyric Stage. Dr. Rako’s work has been featured in countless publications, including the New York Times and USA Today, and on Today, Dateline NBC, and BBC World Today. She may be contacted through her website,

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