Dr. Sumer Ledet, licensed clinical and medical psychologist, and expert in anxiety disorders, is using innovative, psycho-educational methods to reach women who struggle with being overwhelmed due to their responsibilities as mothers, partners, and breadwinners.
Dr. Ledet’s education and experience has provided her with extensive evidence-based training in a variety of anxiety disorders including PTSD, OCD, Panic Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She has depth training in Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy. Following years of training and experience in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy methods she has immersed herself in the theory and practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Dr. Sumer Ledet’s psycho-educational training is a comprehensive, multi–method program for women stressed by their responsibilities as mothers, partners, and breadwinners. Her “Get Present System,” a virtual group program for overwhelmed working mothers, helps with psychological issues and at the same time is reducing stigma associated with reaching out for help, making psychology more accessible to more people.
Dr. Ledet has focused on treating anxiety disorders in private practice since 2012 and has directed her efforts more specifically toward women, including women who do not meet full criteria for any diagnosable condition.
“Many women feel tired, drained, invisible, anxious, and generally unhealthy,” said Ledet. “Many women are distracted and struggling with insomnia. Many women feel guilty and irritable. Most of the same women are highly educated, successful in their chosen career, have healthy well cared for children and happy partners, but they are ––often privately–– suffering and struggling,” she said.
“The culture demands so much of working mothers and the pressure is immense. Women feel like they aren’t measuring up, and then label themselves failures. This is extremely common and frankly heart-wrenching,” she said.
Her class includes five pillars that Dr. Ledet teaches to increase the individual’s ability to remain in the present moment and to focus attention on valued actions. “The pillars also cover self-care and self-compassion,” she said, “as many overwhelmed women that I have worked with tend to overlook their own basic needs and to treat themselves harshly when they make mistakes.”
“I transitioned my business 100% online since COVID and plan to stay the course,” she said, continuing to share high-quality, evidence-based, and often free content. “In my opinion, my strength is simplifying the ‘psychobabble’ so it is easily understandable and usable for real women living busy lives,” she said.
Get Present, her eight-week independent study class, is a comprehensive, deep dive into fostering self-care, self-compassion, and values-based action.
Dr. Ledet’s Innovations Aim to Reach Women Experiencing Stress and Anxiety, continued Dr. Ledet began teaching overwhelmed women online and began making educational Facebook videos on her Dr. Sumer Ledet Psychological Services Facebook page [@drsumerledet]. Then, toward the end of 2020, she started an ‘Insiders Community’ where she sends free weekly exclusive email content to this same group of women.
“I really want to reach a broader audience and teach the skills that have helped hundreds of my clients, without the high price tag,” she said. “I no longer take insurance and it would cost thousands in individual therapy to acquire this skill set…”
Back in 2012, Dr. Ledet started listening to a podcast all about holistic nutrition called Balanced Bites. “I got really into it, learned a ton, and began to wonder how the two young women hosting the podcast had grown such a large audience and successful business online,” she said. “Several years later, I found free education from successful online entrepreneurs like Amy Porterfield and Jenna Kutcher. Their work set a fire inside me to impact a larger audience, not restricted to the closed doors of a therapy room.”
By 2019, she purchased an inexpensive microphone and started recording educational videos for Facebook. “I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to create, but I knew I wanted to begin to build an audience for spreading education about managing and healing from anxiety,” she said.
“Because I had run a private practice since 2012 as an anxiety disorder expert, I knew there were tons of women who didn’t necessarily meet criteria for an anxiety disorder, but were nonetheless wracked by overwhelm, confusion, and dysphoria about how to manage all of the demands of life,” she said. “I desperately wanted to normalize this phenomena and provide resources to find a path toward peace and fulfillment. Having become a busy mom of two myself by 2019, I felt a deep compassion for the ever-present but under-discussed struggles of these women.”
She kept creating videos and learning about how to improve the quality and clarity of her message online. “In September 2020, I made my first investment into my online business and purchased Digital Course Academy, which taught me the process for how to create and market my first digital course. I followed the steps, and it was so much more work that I had bargained for. It was really draining, and by the time I launched the program, I was exhausted,” she said.
“Even still, it was a successful first launch. I enrolled 37 women into my digital course, The Get Present System (GPS), by early 2021. Originally, GPS was an 8-week program for busy moms who were struggling with overwhelm and anxiety but wanted a step-by-step path toward peace and fulfillment.”
She continued to spread the message with free content via email and social media marketing. “But,” she explained, “I knew I would need a slightly different approach to make the online course world a sustainable part of my business.” That was around the time she made a second investment into online course business, purchasing a program by @katieandfloyd about creating an automated system to market and sell online courses and programs.
“At the end of 2021, I experienced a significant spiritual transformation in my own life,” she said, “and I felt called to incorporate a Christian, faith-based aspect to my online programs. I followed the steps I had learned with @katieandfloyd, and the process was, once again, much more tedious and time-consuming than anticipated
In early 2022, I launched my second program, created specifically for Catholic moms desiring more peace and fulfillment, called the Break Free Blueprint (BFB). It was similar to GPS, but BFB had a strong faith component that shaped the evidence-based frameworks. It paired Catholic wisdom and tools with science-backed strategies to help Catholic moms break free from anxiety,” Dr. Ledet said.
For this launch, she increased the price, the length of the program, and the intimacy of the experience using question & answer sessions, audits of the work participants completed, prizes in the mail as they made their way through the program, and a community forum for support. The women had great results, and it was a truly enriching experience for all of us,” she said.
“I have continued to share free education with my online community, and it has been such a fulfilling and rewarding experience for me. I get messages all the time from people who feel inspired by the free education I provide. I love to learn, love to write, and love to share content to encourage and inspire others. It is definitely a calling and a passion project,” Dr. Ledet said.
This year, as a next step, she plans to update her website to create a “store-front” where moms can purchase self-study versions of the programs. “I am considering options such as sponsored social media ads and podcasting for continued marketing. I have created several free resources to help overwhelmed moms get connected to my content,” she said.
“So, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I am continuing to learn and explore strategies for how to impact more overwhelmed Catholic moms without the intimidating and often cost and time prohibitive experience of private therapy.
“As you can imagine, there are so many ethical and legal questions to consider. I’ve consulted with many colleagues as I navigate these murky waters. I have also become part of a small group of psychologists with online businesses, and we meet, ‘mastermind style,’ to problem solve dilemmas unique to psychologists in the online business world,” Dr. Ledet said.
She warns anyone considering this path that it is more work that the gurus make it out to be, but if you can align the work to what you deeply value, it will be worth it, she explained. “I am learning to ride the wave of trial-and-error without getting discouraged. My predictable income comes from other sources so that I don’t feel a large degree of pressure around this work. When I do make money with my content, it feels like such a gift.”
She still does not feel like she has found a complete system that is sustainable for her business and health. “I prioritize practicing what I preach, and with two little kids at home, this continues to be tricky. In addition, I have struggled with my own health and chronic pain condition for many years. In a way, this is a gift because I can truly empathize with my students and share what is working in my own life,” she said.
“I’m happy to share my wins and lessons learned so far on this journey with you,” said Dr. Ledet. “I’m also happy to share details about the ethical and legal aspects that I’ve considered and addressed through informed consent, LLC creation, documentation, and consultation.”
Those interested in starting an online component of their business can reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org