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Ki Sisa: On Making Repairs


Imagine the following scenario: Little Johnny has had a rough day. He’s sitting in the playroom building a Lego tower when his little sister toddles over and, giggling, knocks said tower to the floor. Enraged, Johnny lashes out – at his sister, at the Legos, at every toy within reach. Soon, both Johnny and his sister are sobbing, and the playroom more closely resembles a war zone. Beside herself, Johnny’s mother sends Johnny to his room to “calm down,” instructing him to come back down when he’s ready to apologize to his sister and clean up his mess.


In DBT terms, apologizing and cleaning up the chaos in the playroom would be called a repair. Proportionate to the damage he’s done, Johnny must rectify his wrongdoing and learn that there are consequences to behaviors. Yet there is another crucial