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


 902.698.1194 (confidential)

Therapeutic Focus: 

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

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 you as an individual, or as part of a couple or family, I incorporate experiential therapies that include mindfulness practices, self-compassion and Emotionally Focused Therapy. With couple and families, I'll work with you to rebuild the emotional connection between you and your loved ones, while also 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 our new office on our property in Greenwich, NS, as well as for clients online. I also offer workshops and online webinars that support employee mental health. 

Prior to starting Five Star Wellbeing, I from taught from 1999-2005 at the Hong Kong International School and the Delia School of Canada 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" (Dog), Tazwald. We are truly grateful for our children Elise, Dominique, Jaden and Ella, along with their partners Zach, Wade and our grandchildren Leo and Sunnie!

Emily Fiel

Emily Feil, 

Counsellor, RCT-C

Master of Counselling, BSc. Nursing

780.257.7006  (confidential)

Therapeutic Focus: 

Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Burnout, Perinatal Mental health, Grief and Loss, Parenting

Emily Feil (Currently On Leave)

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

My role as a therapist is to listen, help you clarify your goals, and work with you to explore solutions and find healing. I do this by drawing emotion-focused therapy, humantistic-existential therapy, attachment theory, and self-compassion. 

Having worked as a nurse I have had the privilege of working with people across the lifespan, from newborns to terminally ill adults. I received my Masters of Counselling degree from Gonzaga University in 2020, and completed my practicum placement at the University of Alberta Counselling centre. Before joining Five Star Wellbeing I worked in a mental health clinic counselling and facilitating psycho-educational groups of people suffering from anxiety and depression.

My experience in nursing gives me particular expertise supporting mother’s perinatal mental health, as well as people or members affected by cancer or other chronic illnesses.

If you find yourself feeling anxious or down, repeating patterns that no longer serve you, or dealing with emotions that that are difficult to understand and manage, I am here. I will ensure you feel safe and supported as we work toward your recovery, healing and improved wellbeing.  

Having recently moved to the Annapolis Valley, I am excited to explore the province with my husband, my young son, and our dogs.

I look forward to meeting you.

Shane MacDow

Shane MacDow 

Registered Counselling Therapist - Candidate


Phone: 902.599.1057 (confidential)

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

902.599.1621 (confidential)

Therapeutic Focus: 

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

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.

Lisa Smith

Lisa Smith, 

Counselling Intern

BA. B.Ed., Masters Counselling Candidate

902.698.1194 (confidential)

Therapeutic Focus: 

Anxiety, depression, healthy relationships, self-image, neurodiversity

Lisa is a Therapist Intern and a student who will graduate from Yorkville University on completion of her Internship with Five Star Wellbeing Counselling and Mental Health.

Prior to starting her counselling degree, Lisa worked in many capacities as a classroom teacher, doing reading recovery and with neurodiverse students.

Lisa supports adults and adolescents over the age of 12 suffering from anxiety, depression, relationship problems and other concerns related to life, work and relationships. Lisa also has experience working with neurodiverse people.

Kate Sullivan

Kate Sullivan, 

Administrative Assistant

Office Admin Diploma

902.670.7046 (confidential)

Kate is a 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.

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.

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