Toni Mongillo Desideri
MA, Registered Psychotherapist, Registered Music Therapist
Children, Teens and Parents/Caregivers
Services Offered: Child Therapy, Teen Therapy, Therapy for Parents and Caregivers
Therapies Practiced: Talk Therapy, Music Therapy, Play-Based Therapies
Specialization: Children, youth and their families experiencing anxiety, depression, isolation, low self-esteem, stress, trauma, and bereavement.
Children, youth and families with complex medical needs including oncology, haematology, bone marrow transplant, neurology, neurosurgery, trauma, burns and plastics, and palliative care.
Languages Spoken: English and Italian
Insurance Information: Please check with your insurance provider to see if your benefit plan covers a Registered Psychotherapist.
Session Fee: $165/hr
Consultation Offered: Toni offers a free 15-minute phone or video consultation.
Toni has been a music therapist for 17 years, and has worked with a broad range of clients, mostly with children. Music therapy is used to treat many psychological, and emotional issues.
Aspects of music itself are therapeutic, as we all have experienced. In music therapy sessions, we use various aspects of music towards therapeutic goals. Making music together is one intervention often, but not solely, used in sessions.. The experience of playing instruments, listening to someone play "live", or singing can be a part of the process of addressing different emotions and topics. Musical qualities, such as rhythm and melody are used intentionally to help with such things as grounding and self-regulation. A client does not need to be a musician, and they also decide what they are comfortable participating in, if at all. The purpose of the music is not as a "product" (e.g. concert, sounding good, etc), but rather the process. Sometimes, having something to complete and take home, like a composed song, is beneficial as well.
Other aspects of music can be used in conjunction with verbal processing. Using songs, lyrics, song writing and different genres of music or sound can help to open the door to recognizing emotions, beliefs and perspectives in life. Music can be a safe way to process things that are difficult to talk about, and/or access. Music listening and guided imagery is another way music is used in sessions. Using music listening to guide thoughts and images, or to focus on various topics.
Toni will develop specific interventions and tools for clients based on their goals, preferences and strengths. Development of coping tools that can be used in daily life is a focus when required, for example, ways to use music and music playlists for motivation, regulation, validation and/or expression.
Music therapy is also often used to help children and adolescents:
Develop their identities
Improve their communication skills
Learn to regulate their emotions
Lessen feelings of isolation
Improve self esteem
Personal insight/ expression
Toni's expertise has included, but has not been limited to: early intervention, different developmental abilities, trauma (working abroad in Bosnia, Herzegovina), mental health/emotions awareness/management, bereavement/palliative care, geriatrics/dementia, VAW/Women and Children’s Shelters, and refugees. Most recently, she has worked for 7 years at the Hospital for Sick Children. Toni founded Creative Minds Music Therapy in 2010, and has continued to commit herself to the endeavor of growing and managing a group practice. She currently offers private counselling sessions online, as a registered psychotherapist. Her passion is to support children's mental health, especially during these trying times. She uses modalities including music therapy, creative arts, as well as talk therapy in her work with children and teens.
Toni is a Registered Psychotherapist who has completed the Master of Music Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University. In addition to her Masters in Music Therapy, she has completed a Certificate in Neurologic Music Therapy from the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy. She has also completed the Infant-Parent Psychotherapy Certificate from the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre, CBT training, and play therapy training courses.