The main goal of this study was to examine propositions regarding the application procedures of cinematherapy. It compared the contributions to create therapeutic change of viewing (watching a movie with therapeutic aims) and discussion steps (discussing movies with therapeutic aims). Twenty-eight sessions were held with 6 participants seeking professional help for relationship problems (e.g. frequent conflicts, dissatisfaction, sexual problems). Content analyses of questionnaire responses and therapy session transcripts indicated that cinematherapy provided a useful therapeutic intervention. As expected, the viewing step itself did not promote change; instead, the discussion phase induced new insights and facilitated generalization of these gains into individuals' own problem areas. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.