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Episode 56:

A Discussion About Mental Health and Leadership Part 2

Ifen Donovan


In part 2 of this conversation, The Upstream Leader’s Jeremy Clopton and Ifen Donovan, a licensed counselor at Peace of Mind Counseling Services, discuss the relationship between leadership and mental health. They delve deeper into the five A’s—awareness, acceptance, allow yourself to seek help, attend to your feelings, and act—as a practical framework for leaders. Donovan emphasizes the impact of past trauma on personal growth, advocating for self-awareness and healing. The conversation stresses the importance of recognizing emotional triggers, engaging in deep breathing exercises, and balancing work with rest and play. The episode aims to promote emotionally intelligent leadership and destigmatize seeking professional help for mental well-being.

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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