Meet Our Team

If you're looking for help, you aren't alone. We all struggle at times in our lives.  Each member of our team is committed to supporting you, however you may be struggling. 

We will all experience illness, loss, betrayal or trauma in our lives and we all make mistakes. 

As a team, we bring a broad range of life and therapeutic experience to our practice that allows us to understand and serve you as an individual, a well as with your partner or family. We approach our practice with a strong commitment to excellence, and we welcome you with the utmost concern for your wellbeing.

Five Star Wellbeing is our way of sharing what we have learned about wellbeing and lasting mental health with you. 

When you inevitably come face to face with adversity and suffering, know that you too can heal and thrive. We are here for you.

Take good care, 

Derrick McEachern,

Counselling Therapist and Owner, Five Star Wellbeing

Derrick McEachern Registered Counselling Therapist

Derrick McEachern, 

Registered Counselling Therapist, Owner


Phone: 902.698.1194 (confidential)
Email: [email protected]

Therapeutic Focus: 

Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Grief and Loss, Couple and Family Therapy, Parenting

Derrick McEachern

I am a Registered Counselling Therapist (RCT) in Nova Scotia, and a Canadian Certified Counsellor.  

In my practice, I specialize in providing therapeutic counselling in the areas of anxiety, depression, anger, trauma and couple and family therapy. Whether working with individuals or couples, I incorporate experiential therapies that include mindfulness practices, self-compassion and Emotionally Focused Therapy. Working with couples we work at rebuilding emotional connection and addressing unmet attachment needs. I also provide clinical counselling supervision to counsellors in training, and am an Approved Candidacy Supervisor for the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists. 

I started Five Star Wellbeing Counselling and Mental Health in 2014.  I provide counselling at my home office in New Minas, and for clients across Canada online. I also offer workshops and online webinars that support employee mental health. 

Prior to Five Star Wellbeing, I taught at International Schools in Hong Kong. After earning my M.Ed., in Counselling in 2006, I provided counselling for two years with Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, one year with Acadia University and 13 years with the Nova Scotia Community College. 

I live in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia with my partner Sheila and our furry forest animal, Tazwald. We are truly grateful for our children Elise, Dominique, Jaden and Ella, along with their partners and our grandson Leo.

Shane MacDow

Shane MacDow 

Registered Counselling Therapist - Candidate


Phone: 902.599.1057 (confidential)
Email: [email protected]

Therapeutic Focus

Anxiety, Depression, Youth and Adolescent Trauma, Working with Boys and Men, Outdoor Counselling 

Shane MacDow

I am a Registered Counselling Therapist Candidate   (RCT-C) in Nova Scotia, and a Canadian Certified Counsellor.

I have extensive experience having worked with marginalized youth with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice for 14 years. Doing that work, I developed the skills to help children, at-risk youth and young adults work through trauma, develop skills to manage emotions, make healthier choices, be more compassionate with themselves, and navigate their social lives.

Young people today are especially vulnerable. Whether suffering from bullying, participating in at-risk behaviour, using substances, pushing boundaries or struggling with anger, I employ a strengths-based approach with the aim of building hope and lifelong resilience. I draw on Narrative, Acceptance and Commitment and Dialectic Behaviour Therapy.

I meet with clients at my home office in Berwick, and incorporate outdoor therapy on our scenic property which provides clients the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors if you so choose.

Catherine MacDow

Catherine MacDow, 

Registered Counselling Therapist - Candidate

M.Ed., RCT-C

Phone: 902.599.1621 (confidential)
Email: [email protected]

Therapeutic Focus: 

Anxiety, depression, relationships, self-image, stress and burnout, outdoor counselling

Catherine MacDow

I am a Registered Counselling Therapist Candidate (RCT-C) in Nova Scotia.

I offer a safe, welcoming and compassionate space, while providing my expertise in an array of therapeutic approaches. Specializing in solution-focused, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based approaches, I am able to help you explore and find solutions that support you in your healing journey. With a focus on wellbeing, health and connection, I create a space to reflect and discern, while offering tools to help nurture your path of growth.

As a parent, school counsellor, and former teacher, I offer a diversity of lenses to support youth and families. In the early stages of my career, I had the opportunity to
teach in China, Nunavut and many years for the AVRCE. Born and raised in the beautiful Annapolis Valley, I have deep understanding of the importance of connection
to the land and community.

My interests comprise of spending time in nature, growing food and connecting with friends and family. I am also a certified yoga teacher, which I incorporate in my daily wellness practice. I currently live in the Annapolis Valley with my husband Shane, son Angus, and several furry animals.

Offering my services at our home office in Berwick, I am able to provide therapy indoors, or outside, in our scenic, private setting.

Kate Sullivan

Administrative Assistant 

Kate is a recent graduate of the Office Administration Program at Nova Scotia Community College. She spent the younger years of her childhood on Nova Scotia’s South Shore and moved to the Annapolis Valley in 2001. 

Kate is always happy to help you with scheduling, appointment changes, and support you with technical questions related to the Jane App, billing and all of your administrative needs. 

Kate is an avid reader, tv and movie watcher. She also enjoys cooking, doing the occasional craft, going on ATV runs, and spending time with her family and close friends.

Kate Sullivan

Team Members & Contributors

I personally want to thank the following individuals for the contributions they have made to Five Star Wellbeing with technical services in the development of our Wellbeing Assessment, our Workplace Mental Health Assessment, and with research to support our workshops, and helping people learn about Five Star Wellbeing.

Allison Hatcher

Allison Hatcher

Research Assistant

Allison completed two co-op work terms doing research, creating content and helping develop and deliver workshops for Five Star Wellbeing. 

Allison is from Ottawa, Ontario. She recently graduated with her Bachelors of Science from Acadia University. She is passionate about research, especially in the areas of health and developmental psychology.  She plans to complete her undergraduate thesis before going on to pursue a Masters degree.

Allison's brings strong research skills, creative ideas, insight and enthusiasm to her job. She is a wonderful asset to our team.   

When she is not in school she enjoys being outside and active, and plays various sports. She competed in the Ontario Summer Games (2014) and The National Championships (2017) for field hockey. More recently, she keeps active practising yoga and enjoying getting outdoors Geocaching.

Erin Sellers

Database Analyst

Erin has played a key role in developing and securing the database, and helping us understand, interpret and visualize the data from our Wellbeing and Mental Health Assessment, and Workplace Mental Health Assessment.

Erin graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 2018, and more recently graduated from the IT Data Analytics program at Nova Scotia Community College. 

She has always had an interest in numbers, so data analytics was a natural fit. She knew after her first mathematical modeling course that she wanted to spend her life playing with numbers in order to help make decisions supported by data.

Born in NYC, raised in Toronto and Montreal, Erin has always been drawn to the Maritimes and currently lives in Halifax with her partner and their sphinx cat. Outside of work she enjoys riding her horse and spending time at her family cottage in Prince Edward Island.

Erin Sellers
Luke Melong

Luke Melong

Web Developer

Luke has played a key role in redesigning our website and designing the plugin and interface for our Wellbeing and Mental Health Assessment, and Workplace Mental Health Assessment.

Luke is a recent graduate of the Web Development program at Nova Scotia Community College. 

He has been programming for over 8 years and has interests in many areas of technology. From the newest cell phone trends, to modern website design and even advancements in engineering, he enjoys understanding and creating new technologies that drive change in today's fast paced society. 

Outside of work, Luke plays hockey and basketball. Luke is playing key role in the development of our Quality of Life Assessment. He is an excellent communicator, and brings fresh ideas to and experience to our team.

Luke  hopes to be able to see the world and experience the positive impacts that technology has, as well as learn about business culture in different parts of the world. 

Tia Hampton

Tia Hampton

Marketing Assistant

Tia is a student at Acadia University studying business administration.She grew up in Nova Scotia on a property with her two horses. She loves painting, sketching, and taking advantage of any opportunity to get outdoors.

At school, Tia participates in volleyball intramurals with her friends. She volunteers at Acadia’s Student Union Food cupboard, an organization that provides students access to resources and supplies that are in need. And she is an active member of the Acadia Business Society as the International Student Representative.

Tia is self-motivated and loves to learn; her future goal is to develop her own skills to build a business that makes a community stronger.

Dahila Erick

Dahlia Erick

Research Assistant

Dahlia is a Psychology student from Acadia University, originally from Alberta, but currently moving back and forth from home province to Nova Scotia on a regular basis.

She’s a co-op student with one placement, as a psychologist’s assistant, under her belt, and next year she will be on an exchange to Sweden, making the most out of her university’s hands-on opportunities.

She’s an English minor who loves reading and taking care of her dozens of plant babies.When living in Alberta, Dahlia’s very close to her family and is always there for game night and canoeing down the river. She’s learning to say yes to new adventures, to ensure she has great stories to share down the road.

Madison Stowbridge

Research Assistant

Madison is an Acadia University student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Chemistry. She was born and raised in rural Newfoundland where she enjoys the outdoors, especially water sports and walking. 

At Acadia University, Madison volunteers with Kinderskills, a program that provides preschool aged children with a variety of movement activities in order to promote their development. She also volunteers with the S.M.I.L.E program (Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience), that provides persons with varying disabilities a unique physical activity experience in order to improve their total development as individuals.

Madison's strong research skills, her hard work, commitment have been a great addition to to our team.    

Her goal is to become a Speech-Language Pathologist, where she can continue her passion for helping others.