State-of-the-art block copolymer (BCP)—directed self-assembly (DSA) methods still yield defect densities orders of magnitude higher than is necessary in semiconductor fabrication despite free-energy calculations that suggest equilibrium defect densities are much lower than is necessary for economic fabrication. This disparity suggests that the main problem may lie in the kinetics of defect removal. This work uses a coarse-grained model to study the rates, pathways, and dependencies of healing a common defect to give insight into the fundamental processes that control defect healing and give guidance on optimal process conditions for BCP-DSA. It is found that bulk simulations yield an exponential drop in defect heal rate above . Thin films show no change in rate associated with the energy barrier below , significantly higher than the values found previously for self-consistent field theory studies that neglect fluctuations. Above , the simulations show an increase in energy barrier scaling with 1/2 to 1/3 of the bulk systems. This is because thin films always begin healing at the free interface or the BCP-underlayer interface, where the increased contact area associated with the transition state is minimized, while the infinitely thick films cannot begin healing at an interface.