Life can be worth living, even when there is pain. The remedy for suffering is commitment to acceptance again and again and again. Commitment implies a whole-hearted dedication to a purpose. Commitment binds you to a course of action. An enormous amount of evidence indicates that the commitment to behave in a particular way – or, more generally, commitment to a task, job, or relationship – is strongly related to future performance. Committed people finish the task, do the job, and stay in the relationship. People are more likely to do what they promise to do especially when the going gets tough.
One of the chief reasons for many failures in therapy and early termination is inadequate commitment by the patient, therapist, or both. Patient commitment in DBT is both an important prerequisite for effective therapy and a goal of the therapy. Thus, a commitment to change or to implement new behavioral solutions to old problems is not assumed. Commitment is a behavior: it can be elicited, learned and reinforced.