Paremia – in the meaing proverbs and sayings as basic small folklore formations that can be worked with as part of bibliotherapy, including their numerous other formations such as sayings, proverbs, riddles, jokes, etc. represent condensed didactic knowledge of our ancestors. In addition to being characterized by special linguistic features and cultural value, in bibliotherapy they can serve well to identify personal beliefs, unconscious patterns of behavior, or the identification of the persons from whom they were taken, enabling a reevaluation in relation to their current functionality in the life of a specific person and their possible change, if they no longer serve a person for further development and growth, or even prevent the person from it.

In a broader sense, as part of paremia-therapy in bibliotherapy, we also work with aphorisms, anecdotes, sentences, epigrams and epitaphs, although in the linguistic classification it is not a paremia in the true sense of the word, as they do not come from folklore provenance. However, they represent a similarly condensed didactic statement or reference to the maximum extent possible, usually intended for future generations. It is therefore a relatively quick way to get to them and reformulate them in a playful or similar way.

With the students of the 1st and 2nd year (n=26) of the bachelor’s study program in curative education of the Faculty of Pedagogy of the Comenius University in Bratislava, in the summer semester of the academic year 2020/2021 within the subject of bibliotherapy to support self-knowledge and personal development, as a necessary prerequisite for their professional progress, we successfully applied the exercise, which they rated as fun and useful at the same time, and it is attached in full below. Here are some of the shares: “I had a good time”, “this self-knowledge made me stronger”, “I realized a lot”, “it touched me deeply, it enriched me”, “it helped me to re-motivate myself”, “I felt strong emotions when “I like” and I noticed beautiful little things when “I decided””, “I was pleased that I can locate well where in my body I feel something”, “I discovered that I need the support of others and courage “, “I learned a lot, I got a lot out of it, I had no idea that it was possible to work with it like this”, “I would recommend it to others”, “I will definitely use it at work”, etc. For such work, we definitely recommend creating and offering clients a space for sharing, or – if necessary – combining it with the technique of writing a diary.

Here, in our exercise, it was a homework assignment during the period of society-wide anti-epidemic measures, therefore sharing was offered in written form (see the conclusion of the exercise), further in groups (there were two groups of students) during online classes, but also the possibility of online individual consultations during consultation hours. The same space for the possibility of sharing should also be created during individual or group bibliotherapy. Clients may or may not use it at a given meeting, or it is possible to share the strongest or most interesting experiences that can be inspiring or important for others, or are important as a relief mechanism (if the use of a diary was not enough) – to create space at the beginning of the next meeting.

Example exerciseassignment


Majzlanová, Katarína. 2017. Základy biblioterapie pre knihovníkov. [Basics of bibliotherapy for librarians.] pp. 12. Banská Bystrica: Banská Bystrica self-governing region, Ľudovíta Štúr Regional Library. 56 p. ISBN 978-80-85136-58-6 Available online:

Kotrbová, Kvetoslava. 2023. Cvičenia na prácu s parémiami. [Exercises for working with paremias.] In Biblioterapia 1 and 2. Lectures and exercises for students of the medical pedagogy study program. Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Pedagogy, Department of Therapeutic Pedagogy, academic year 2020/2021, summer semester, updated in connection with the Erasmus+ project “Prototype teaching aid for bibliotherapy” May 5, 2023


PhDr. Kvetoslava Kotrbová, PhD., MPH, Department of Therapeutic Pedagogy, Faculty of Pedagogy, Comenius University in Bratislava, April 23, 2023.

It didn’t pass language editing!

Recommended citation method:

Kotrbová Kvetoslava. 2023. Paremiologická terapia. [Paremia-therapy.] In Kotrbová, K. et al: Bratislava: PRO SKIZP – Association to support the development of the Slovak Chamber of Clinical Physics, Laboratory Diagnosticians, Language Speech Therapists and Therapeutic Pedagogues, 2023.  ISBN 978-80-974667-0-1 Available on:

The contribution was created thanks to support from the European Union Erasmus+ program, Key action 2 – Cooperation between organizations and institutions, KA210 – Small partnerships for cooperation in the field of education and training. Project name “Prototype of online study tool for bibliotherapy”, project number 2022-1-SK01-KA210-VET-000082483. It represents the opinion of the author and the European Commission is not responsible for any use of the information contained therein.