Encouraging Commitment

  • Raymond M. Bergner
Part of the The Springer Series in Social Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)


When individuals are able to abandon pathological self-critical practices and to adopt more constructive ones, the consequences for their lives are pervasive and significant. Some of these consequences, summarized from previous chapters, include the following:
  • Their self-esteem—their summary appraisal of their own goodness, worth, and value—is enhanced.

  • Their sense of eligibility for valued relationships, jobs, and other life opportunities is increased, and with it their sense of freedom and ability to act to acquire such things. They no longer feel restricted or paralyzed by self-critical acts that in the past had left them feeling disqualified from the pursuit of these things.

  • They are less vulnerable to being devastated and controlled by the criticisms of other persons. Having assumed control of their own critical appraisals in constructive ways, they no longer automatically concur with the destructive ones offered by others. Not only does this render them less vulnerable to devastation, but it also leaves them less dependent on others for their esteem and more able to steer their own course in life unfettered by an inordinate concern with what others might think of them.

  • Having ceased their exclusively negative self-critical focus, they can now recognize, acknowledge, and appreciate positive things about themselves. They are thus able to derive vital senses of personal efficacy, accomplishment, and satisfaction that come with such self-recognitions.

  • They are more able to make changes in themselves when such changes are needed and possible. No longer engaged exclusively in forms of criticism that undermine their ability to change, they are more able to generate usable problem diagnoses, implementable prescriptions for change, and new behaviors consistent with these.

  • They are freer from painful and debilitating emotional states that result from destructive self-criticism and its behavioral sequelae. Most frequently, these have included depression, anxiety, guilt, and shame.

  • Finally, no longer so exclusively obsessed with the dire necessity to achieve certain outcomes (since the critic will no longer use unfortunate ones as ammunition to wreak havoc), they are more able to relax and enjoy the process of immersed participation in life.


Good Parent Personal Commitment Alcoholic Anonymous Commitment Statement Personal Efficacy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond M. Bergner
    • 1
  1. 1.Illnois State UniversityNormalUSA

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