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FAST: Tell the Truth

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In Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), FAST is the skill for maintaining your self-respect. The T in FAST stands for Tell the Truth.  When you are maintaining your self-respect, it’s important to tell the truth. This means to tell the truth about yourself, about others, and about events even when you are upset with that other person.  Or yourself.

How skill-full are you about telling the truth about yourself? When you are talented at something, are you able to own it? When you do something well, do you acknowledge that? Of course I’m not talking about bragging, just about accepting that you did a good job or that you are good at something?

Are you good at telling the truth to yourself about your cracks or faults? Sometimes people may become super scared when they realize they have faults and try to hide them, deny them, and feel shame about them. Everyone has cracks. Most of the time we like people better when they accept their own faults.

Recently on the television show Sunday Morning, I learned about Pentimento. Pentimento is a visible trace of earlier paintings beneath another.  It shows that the artist changed his mind and It reflects to repent regret, or change your mind. It means to strive for creation, not perfection.  That’s the way I like to look at my own cracks and faults. I am striving for creation, building on my mistakes and changing my mind, not perfection.

On the same show, they talked about kintsugi. This means that cracks of something are part of its history, embrace damage while making something whole. an object is more beautiful because of its flaws.  The cracks of being broken are kept visible in the repair.For example, sometimes you can see a crack in a piece of pottery where the artist has repaired it and made the crack part of the overall design. The brokenness of the past adds to its current beauty. I love that!

Part of Telling the Truth is to allow yourself to be honest in creating the life you want to live, acknowledging when you’ve made mistakes or changed your mind. It’s also about letting your cracks/faults be visible and create the repair as part of your being. The imperfections can add to your beauty.

FAST: Tell the Truth

Karyn Hall, PhD

Karyn Hall, Ph.D. is the owner/director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Center in Houston, a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician, a RO DBT Approved Supervisor and Trainer and owner of, an online educational program. She is a trainer/consultant as well as a therapist and certified coach, author of The Emotionally Sensitive Person, SAVVY, Mindfulness Exercises for DBT Therapists, and co-author of The Power of Validation. Her podcast, The Emotionally Sensitive Person, is available on iTunes.

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APA Reference
Hall, K. (2018). FAST: Tell the Truth. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 11 Jan 2018
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