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Episode 55:

A Discussion About Mental Health and Leadership Part 1

Ifen Donovan


In part 1 of this conversation, The Upstream Leader’s Jeremy Clopton and Ifen Donovan, a licensed counselor at Peace of Mind Counseling Services, delve into the crucial intersection of leadership and mental health. The discussion emphasizes the impact of fear of failure, unresolved familial issues, and the “only I can do it” mentality on leaders’ emotional bank accounts. Ifen introduces the concept of the five A’s—be aware, accept, allow, attend to feelings, and act—as a framework for maintaining emotional well-being. The conversation underscores the significance of leaders recognizing personal boundaries, understanding coping mechanisms, and fostering a workplace where individuals feel seen, heard, and valued for optimal mental health and productivity.

About the Guest

Ifen Donovan, licensed counselor at Peace of Mind Counseling Services, is a first-generation immigrant from Taiwan, now pursuing a doctoral degree in Traumatology at Liberty University. Fluent in Taiwanese, Mandarin Chinese, and English, Ifen holds a master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is trained in EMDR and Brainspotting. After 20 years in administration and payroll at Donovan CPAs, where her husband Jeff is the Managing Partner, she transitioned to counseling. Ifen, married for 32 years, has two grown children and is an active member of Radiant Bible Church’s Soul Care team. As an artist, Ifen’s paintings grace the Danville, IN courthouse, and she brings art therapy to her counseling, blending spirituality for holistic treatment.

Highlights / Transcript

In this episode we discuss:
  • What leads to mental health challenges for leaders
  • The 5 Aces framework model for well-being
  • The role coping mechanisms play in how we show up at work



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