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

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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 other 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 onourselves." 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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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 other 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 onourselves." 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.

40 review for That's How the Light Gets in: Memoir of a Psychiatrist

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lain

    This book left me befuddled. What was the point? I was expecting thoughtful essays about the meaning of life, as filtered through the experiences of the author, a psychiatrist. Instead, the book had little more depth than a sixth grader's "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" essay. I was amazed when Rako spent more time on watching her granddaughter feed birds than she did on the breakup of either of her marrriages. It's a disappointment because Rako's life seems to be a full and vivid one, but li This book left me befuddled. What was the point? I was expecting thoughtful essays about the meaning of life, as filtered through the experiences of the author, a psychiatrist. Instead, the book had little more depth than a sixth grader's "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" essay. I was amazed when Rako spent more time on watching her granddaughter feed birds than she did on the breakup of either of her marrriages. It's a disappointment because Rako's life seems to be a full and vivid one, but little of that wholeness and color made it onto the page. I finished knowing more about her mentor than I did about her.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Agreenhouse

    I expected a technical book filled with stories about patients. The focus was more on the author's own life. I learned that psychoananlysis is about facing the truth and pain in life. The therapist is there to help you realize you don't have to go through that pain alone. Although it is not a perfect book, in many ways, it is a wise book. Here is some wisdom I picked up: "Come to accept, that like all things that come to pass in a life well lived to the best of one's abilities, it could not have I expected a technical book filled with stories about patients. The focus was more on the author's own life. I learned that psychoananlysis is about facing the truth and pain in life. The therapist is there to help you realize you don't have to go through that pain alone. Although it is not a perfect book, in many ways, it is a wise book. Here is some wisdom I picked up: "Come to accept, that like all things that come to pass in a life well lived to the best of one's abilities, it could not have been otherwise." "Wanting something to be when it is not- or wantign soemthing to be other than it is - is a standard of the human condition. A familiar response to such frustration is anger - anger that represents a holding on to the wished-for element. With time, the natural process of gried eases, and the energy formerly tied up with the wished for element becomes freed up to attach to something or someone that is available." "Many of us resist recognizing that what's problematic about someone or something is often inseparably another aspect of what makes that person or circumstance valuable. Life's a package deal." "There are only a few choices in life: to kill yourself, go crazy or learn to live with what you have in life." "Life- the full catastrophe." - Zorba "A vocation - the place where one's own deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." - Frederick Buechner "Falling in love is the only socially acceptable psychosis." - Dr. Semrad "When our children feel the budding of compassion, the swelling of love, the sorrow of repentance, it is then we must say to them: 'Ah, now you are standing in the presence of G-d.'" - Rabbi Schindler, former leader of the Reform Movement of American Judaism

  3. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    *The light at the end of the book* Although this book is a biography on the life of psychiatrist Susan Rako, I found the most moving content to be in the insights and advice of her mentor Dr. Semrad that Susan shares during the last third of the book. Susan's life story does have its interesting moments, but, I have to admit that the details of her childhood days, life choices, and failed marriages were not nearly as compelling as the insights she passed on from her mentor. For me, these hand-me *The light at the end of the book* Although this book is a biography on the life of psychiatrist Susan Rako, I found the most moving content to be in the insights and advice of her mentor Dr. Semrad that Susan shares during the last third of the book. Susan's life story does have its interesting moments, but, I have to admit that the details of her childhood days, life choices, and failed marriages were not nearly as compelling as the insights she passed on from her mentor. For me, these hand-me-down perspectives were the light that got in (the book).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    While the opening of the book struck me as odd, hard to relate to, and somewhat deterred me from wanting to continue reading, I am incredibly glad that I did. While for the most part the memoir does not address enough of psychiatry, Rako has a fascinating life and communicates well with the reader. I would definitely read this book again, and in my initial reading, learned about myself while learning about Susan Rako.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    I can't get into this book enough to finish it. The writing style puts me off and does she ever really get to what the book is supposed to be about? I can't get into this book enough to finish it. The writing style puts me off and does she ever really get to what the book is supposed to be about?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

  7. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  11. 5 out of 5

    Phebe Idol

  12. 5 out of 5

    Renae

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paulette Ponte

    Not enough cracks to let the light get in.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mar

  15. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Skip Ebert

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hillary

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

  19. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dina

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Shaffer

  23. 4 out of 5

    Promise

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Miles

  25. 4 out of 5

    Iris Muzila

  26. 5 out of 5

    Radhi Dani

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sheryl R Cass

    Great Title from L. Cohen song Actually 3 1/2-4 stars. Was a trip of enlightenment for Ms. Rako and for the reader . Puts a personal touch on what makes someone want to follow a career that has so much pain. To help others, but also help themselves. In

  28. 5 out of 5

    Glenda

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zealleyzo

  31. 4 out of 5

    Anne

  32. 5 out of 5

    John

  33. 5 out of 5

    Sschuls

  34. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  35. 4 out of 5

    Bernadette

  36. 4 out of 5

    Nieva21

  37. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

  38. 4 out of 5

    Zt

  39. 5 out of 5

    Kt

  40. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

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