Mr. Prinzo's Breakthrough
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Facing the limitations of what psychotherapy can actually accomplish, and determining realistic criteria to assess a patient’s readiness to terminate, pose problems for therapists and patients alike. The relief of “symptoms” is probably the most widely accepted criterion of readiness for termination. The wild parody “Mr. Prinzo’s Breakthrough,” by Bruce Jay Friedman, dramatizes a patient’s pervasive distrust and frantic testing of the ground rules and boundaries of the therapeutic relationship. In his seventh year of treatment, Mr. Prinzo longs for his dramatic therapeutic “breakthrough” and pushes the issue of basic trust to an absurd and darkly humorous conclusion. (23 pp.)