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  • Douglas Zimmerman

Googling

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

"I googled OCD therapist or OCD specialist in NYC, I can’t remember? But I found you! So, in that sense isn’t googling, okay?” she asked me.


I had to admit, that in this case, she was right; but overall, I insisted, googling becomes a compulsion that only leads one astray ­– toward more compulsions and certainly to greater obsessions.


This is certainly one of the major compulsions that I hear of. That, and assurance seeking, seem to top the list. It is tricky, indeed, because googling is often very valuable – it’s trying to decipher when the googling is worth it and when it is not. It’s a cost/benefit analysis thing. One has to look at the price one is paying for the information, and very often the price is too steep.


It seems that therapy sessions themselves can lead to googling. That is, in therapy something may come up that troubles the patient and they will seek further validation or clarity from the internet about their own unique and troubling condition – wondering if this or that behavior is normal and do others do it, ad infinitum. We will try to temper this knee-jerk response. We will try to pause and add patience to the treatment plan. Pausing is an incredible technique. It’s a way toward mindfulness and acceptance. And the good news is when one learns to pause, it becomes easier and easier to do. And with that ease, reactivity and hypervigilance slow down to a more peaceful, harmonious, beat. And priorities shift, and googling is less attractive.

Douglas Zimmerman


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