Wellington City Libraries

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Self help / Personal development

What is self help?

Our self help books cover subjects such as happiness, grief, work-life balance and substance abuse. Most self help books are shelved in the Psychology section between 150-159.

Where to find self help books

Click on the links to browse books by subject and call number. This is a selection of topics - ask a staff member if you have difficulty locating another subject. Only the main Dewey numbers are listed below.
Subject Main Dewey number
Astrology, Feng shui & parapsychology 133-135
Child psychology & parenting 155.4, 305.231 (social issues), parenting pathfinder
Death 155.937
Dreams 154.6, 135.3
Emotions 152.4
Freud & psychoanalysis 150.1952
Jung 150.1954, 131.3464
Marriage 306.872
Men and psychology 155.332, 305.31 (men and society)
Mental health & depression 362.2, 616.8527 (depression), 616.89 (mental disorders)
Money 332.024
Self-help, happiness & interpersonal relations 158.1-158.2
Separation & divorce 306.89
Sexuality 306.7
Substance abuse, quitting smoking 362.29, 613.85 (smoking)
Tests - psychometric, employment & personality 152.8, 155.28, 658.31125
Women and psychology 155.633, 155.333, 305.4 (women and society)
Work-life balance and job satisfaction 650.1, 158.1

Searching the classic catalogue

Subjects search and Keyword search are different search types.

Keyword search:

  • Searches for your keywords in titles, subjects, table of contents - everything except for author names.
  • Advantage : A keyword search expands the search to all occurrences of a given word of combination of words.
  • Disadvantage : A keyword search may retrieve more items than you want, some of them unrelated to your subject.

Subjects search:

  • only searches Library of Congress subject headings, and if you use different words than they do, you'll get no results.
  • Advantage : A subjects search retrieves exactly what you ask for.
  • Disadvantage : A subjects search limits you to only what you specifically ask for.

If you are not sure which search type to use, or how to search the catalogue to find what you want, please feel free to ask a librarian for assistance, or try our Catalogue help page


Our psychology magazines include Psychologies magazine. We also have many health, religion and social issues magazines with self help articles. There are several psychology magazines in our online databases such as EBSCO MasterFILE Premier and Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center.

New books in MyLibrary

MyLibrary is an online portal that gives you access to the latest books on subjects that you are interested in. Check out our personal development recent picks every month.

Online resources

Wellington City Libraries members can use the Mygateway.info databases for free from internet computers anywhere. Many psychology journals are available in EBSCO MasterFILE Premier and Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center.


Some of the above websites can be accessed freely using the free internet computers at your local library. Ask a librarian to show you where these are located.

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