About Harper West

Psychotherapy Practice

Harper West, MA, MLP, is a licensed psychotherapist at Great Lakes Psychology Group in Clarkston, Michigan. She provides counseling to help adults and teens improve self-compassion and self‑acceptance, strengthen self-worth, regulate emotions, and develop mindfulness.

Learn more about: Individual, Couples & Family Therapy, including information on specialty areas
Read: My Approach to Therapy

If you are a Michigan resident and would like to schedule an initial appointment or see if your insurance is accepted, call 1‑800‑693‑1916, visit www.GreatLakesPsychologyGroup.com, or fill out our Contact Form.

Harper West, Psychotherapist and Author

Harper is an expert on self‑acceptance and self‑compassion

“By teaching myself mindful self-acceptance, I fundamentally changed from being hamstrung by self-doubt and self-criticism to truly being calm and self-assured. In relationships with others I am no longer submissive and conflict-avoiding by default in an effort to gain their approval. I use prompt, forthright, assertive communication to set healthy boundaries. However, I am proudest of the new relationship I have with myself. I can respond with kindness and compassion when I am feeling emotionally distressed. I can be my own secure attachment figure, without having an unhealthy dependence on others for my emotional needs.”

Learn more about Mindful Self-Compassion Classes led by Harper West

Education & Training

Harper graduated from Michigan State University and earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology following a career in corporate marketing communications.

Harper is an expert in mindfulness, self-compassion and meditation. Her advanced training includes:

  • Graduate of the first cohort of the 30-week Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy (SCIP) professional training program
  • Mindful Self-Compassion core skills training with Kristen Neff, PhD, and Christopher Germer, PhD
  • Compassion-Focused Therapy training with Paul Gilbert, PhD
  • Trained in transcendental meditation in 1978
  • Yoga practitioner since 1996

Harper has completed an externship in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFCT) as well as one year of additional advanced training in EFCT.

Harper has also completed advanced training in Mindful Self-Compassion and Compassion-Focused Therapy.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed Harper to a three-year term on the Michigan Board of Psychology beginning 1/1/2021.


Harper is a contributing writer to the #4 New York Times and #1 Amazon bestseller “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President” (Lee ed., 2017) and “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President”  (Lee ed., 2019).  

She was invited to contribute a chapter on “Clinical Case Formulation and Intervention Using a Shame-Informed Model” in “Practical Alternatives to the Psychiatric Model of Mental Illness: Beyond DSM and ICD Diagnosing”  Published (March 2024)

Harper is author of the award-winning book Pack Leader Psychology, which combines simple ideas from the animal world, such as the “fight-or-flight” response, with the latest in social psychology and neuroscience to explain human behavior and relationships.

In 2020 she was the lead editor and a contributor for a Special Edition of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology entitled: “Addressing the Elephant in the Room: Stories of Ethical Activism in the Age of Trump.” She has been quoted in the news media and written for numerous publications.

Harper has also written an ebook on Self-Acceptance Psychology, a new paradigm for understanding emotional health.


She is a speaker and trainer on topics such as self-acceptance, mindfulness, the effect of trauma on anxiety and depression, ADHD, relationships, domestic violence and parenting. Subscribe to her YouTube channel to get her current posts.

She was asked to present on her Self-Acceptance Psychology concepts at the 2018 annual conference of the International Society of Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) in Toronto, Canada.

How to Fight Self-Doubt and Reclaim Your Confidence after Narcissistic Abuse

One abusive tactic narcissists or Other-blamers use in their relationships is to sow self-doubt in the victim, so that the victim is emotionally weakened...

New Chapter Published on Shame-Informed Model!

It's publication day! I'm very pleased to announce that a psychology book was published today that includes a chapter I wrote on my concepts regarding...

Helping Children Learn to Regulate the Emotion of Excitement

Kids need help regulating their emotions, even excitement. Parents can help regulate exposure to violent and fast-paced video games and movies, which amplify and extend excitement past what is healthy for children. Parents should model excitement regulation and educate children on how to down-regulate their feelings of excitement.