Creating a Professional Eating Disorders Membership with Sumner Brooks


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By Jennifer McGurk. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Sumner Brooks, founder of EDRDPro sits down with Jennifer on this inspiring episode of the Pursuing Private Podcast. You’ll hear Sumner’s journey of embracing Intuitive Eating, how a business idea kept her up all night, and how EDRDPro is uplifting the dietetics industry with training for eating disorder around the world.

Together they begin with Sumner sharing her own journey of disordered eating throughout her youth and school, including as a dietetic intern. She shares the pivotal and life-changing moment of seeing Evelyn Tribole speak at a CE event, which ultimately led her to find her own path of Intuitive Eating.

Specializing as sports dietitian early in her career, she tells how her personal recovery journey influenced her professional work, and her desire to stay in private practice in order to specialize in eating disorders.

With sudden life changes including a new baby, a divorce, and a move to Portland, OR requiring the closure of her practice in her familiar community, Sumner reflects on starting fresh in a new location with no connections or referrals, making it necessary to take on jobs in the corporate world for several stressful years.

You’ll love hearing how the conception of EDRDpro was born from an idea that kept her up all night; an idea for a solution to affordable and accessible training in the eating disorders community.

“I really think that all dietitians need to have training on eating disorders, simply because of the prevalence of eating disorders.” - Sumner Brooks

With the creative spark ignited to bring ED training online for better accessibility, Jennifer was the first person Sumner called with her new idea and business plan. Launched as a yearly symposium, you’ll hear how EDRDPro has evolved since its inception, with two symposiums in 2020 that are focused on core themes, such as a deeper dive into a 6-session symposium in April on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

I really hope what we’re doing here is something that will feel like more than just an introductory step, and really give people a hearty dose of something useful.” - Sumner Brooks

Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Sumner’s process of trying different things in her business that didn’t work, and why she took a break and stepped back for a year.
  • The creative process of building EDRDPro, why she created a membership branch, how it’s changing for 2020 with deeper training on core themes, and the launch of EDRDpro Ambassadors.
  • Why the constantly changing and complex field of eating disorder requires more access to training, and why the learning never stops.
  • Why hiring experts is necessary to grow a business, and how collaboration within the eating disorder community helps broaden the perspective and interpretation of Intuitive Eating, and the value from sharing, discussion and collaboration.
  • Her passion for helping dietitians with their own healing process and then helping them take it to the next level of helping others, with the goal of reaching more people to minimize the suffering and time.

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This Pursuing Private Practice podcast episode was recorded before the traumatic events of the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the United States. Jennifer McGurk recently did an encouraging support group call and training for the Pursuing Private Practice group on Thriving in Uncertainty. Right now is an incredibly difficult time for our world with the COVID-19 virus and ripple effect of trauma felt around the world.

The recent Pursuing Private Practice call was recorded to be shared with everyone: Sign up at

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