After I Googled My Therapist

this is part 2 of a story — part 1 is here

Sarah Mohan
6 min readFeb 18, 2022


Alice Neel, “Loneliness”

I never would have thought that googling my therapist would lead to an emotional breakthrough. I’m not recommending the practice as a way to heal, but that’s how it has turned out in my case. The credit goes mostly to her for the way she handled it. But I’ll also take some credit for being brave enough to bring it up.

What I found out via Google was so upsetting for me that it was clear I had to confess. I was scared. I thought about just quitting therapy instead, but curiosity won out. How would she handle this? What would her explanations be?

“You saw my children? she said, her voice rising to a higher pitch. She’s not much of an online person at all, so she doesn’t get how easy it was to find photos of her grown children.

I told her about finding her husband’s op-eds in support of Trump and Bill Barr. I said that reading those made me wonder whether she was a conservative too.

“I have to insert myself here,” she said. “I am NOT a conservative!” She told me that she and her husband had gone together to anti-war protests when they were young. “But something turned him,” she said, shaking her head mournfully.

When I told her that I wondered how she could even relate to me when she was so wealthy and seemed so happy, she said, “How happy could I be? I’m married to a Republican!”

I loved that! When I asked why she didn’t get divorced, she said, “Oh no. A person’s politics isn’t the only thing about them.”

I asked about the big new house and told her how I’d been able to look at all the rooms on a real estate website. The first thing she wanted me to know was that the ornate chandelier in the entryway was not to her liking and that she’d had to pay someone to remove it. (I hadn’t noticed a chandelier.) She said the house itself wasn’t to her taste, but the floor plan offered what she needed. She explained that her son had gotten divorced and could not afford to keep the house he that his wife had lived in, so my therapist bought a house that would provide the space and degrees of separation she needed to live with her son and her son’s three teenage children! What? Wow!! I didn’t ask, but I imagined that keeping the kids in their…