About Us

Donna O’Connell

Donna is married with three grown children and several grandchildren. Donna is a retired police officer, who was employed with the RCMP for 32 years. She worked on the Joint Forces Penitentiary Squad for 6 years with the OPP, Kingston Police Service and Correctional Services of Canada. With a love for animals, Donna and family bought a horse farm in Enterprise and named it Charmed Stables. Together, Donna and her daughter Katie McKay have developed Charmed Horse Assisted Wellness Centre located at Charmed Stables. Donna has received her training through EAGALA and is a certified Equine Specialist. Coming from a policing background, Donna’s passion is to help first responders suffering with PTSD, as well as others who would benefit from healing or team building through horses.

Katie McKay

Katie is a co-owner of Charmed Horse Assisted Wellness Centre. She has received her training and certification as an Equine Specialist through EAGALA. Her love of horses began when she was enrolled in a local riding camp at age 9. In 2010, Katie’s parents established Charmed Stables, a horse boarding facility. Over the years, she has helped them manage and grow the stable business. In her years spent with horses, she has experienced and seen the bond that they can form with people, which is truly amazing. They get to know you on a deep and personal level, and can tell when you are having a bad day or are anxious. Knowing the power of this bond, Katie has seen how horses can change and heal us.

Anita Brown

I am a Registered Psychotherapist and Certified Hypnotherapist providing short and long-term counselling/therapy services for children, youth and adults; specializing in child, youth and adult mental health and adult hypnosis.  I operate a Private Practice in Belleville, ON and will be providing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy at Charmed Horse Assisted Wellness Centre 1-2 days/week.  I have provided psychotherapy/mental health services to children, youth and adults for over 17 years and am so pleased to be able to join the Equine Therapy team at Charmed Horse Assisted Wellness Centre.  I became familiar with Equine Therapy a few years ago and instantly felt how unique and impactful it was for me and how it can help people understand and deal with difficult issues in one’s life using metaphors and hands-on experiences!

Angie Vanderwees

I believe that everyone possesses the strength and resilience to overcome even the greatest of life’s challenges. I have a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and I’m a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.  I previously obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Queen’s University, and afterwards spent ten years working in education and small business management.  Then, life experience and my own personal therapy motivated me to re-evaluate my goals and I was inspired to embark on a career in helping others.

My experience includes running programs and offering support at the Military Family Resource Centre, facilitating an Anxiety Support Group with the Canadian Mental Health Association, and being a Crisis Responder with Kids Help Phone.  I hold memberships with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.

I provide counselling and psychotherapy services at Natural Route Health in Kingston, ON and hope to specialize in working with youth and couples.  As I’ve loved horses ever since I started riding lessons at age 5, I’m thrilled to also be a part of the equine-assisted psychotherapy team at Charmed Horse Assisted Wellness Centre.

Laura Nicholson

Laura is a sincere and passionate practitioner in the field of clinical psychology who has 20+ years of experience to offer. She provides therapy using modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based treatments to adult and adolescent clients with a wide range of emotional, behavioral, and adjustment problems, anxiety, trauma, depression, and relationship problems. She has helped many clients to “get back to their old selves again” from some pretty dark places. In her practice her goal is that you always feel respected, cared for and that the therapeutic relationship is authentic.