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Meet Chenai

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Chenai Mupotsa-Russell
BA, Grad Dip FDRP, MTAP(Therapy), AThR, RYT
Director | Art & Play Therapist | Yoga Teacher

I am passionate about diversity and intersectionality. I specialise in working with LGBTQAI+ people, neurodivergent people and BIPOC populations. I also have a special place in my heart for little ones and outside of these specialties mostly work with children.

I aim to provide a safe, inclusive, affirming and culturally appropriate space for processing, with a social justice lens that puts into perspective the individual and complex experiences of people "outside the box" – this is the reason Rainbow Muse was born! 

I came to mental health and therapy after years in community development, working first in the Northern Territory in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, then back in Melbourne with culturally and linguistically diverse communities, followed by work more specifically with refugee and asylum seeker young people. I also had opportunities to spend time overseas doing bottom up international development work.

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Working closely with community groups, I saw how simply creating a safe space often led to people opening up about their trauma. I realised that in order to help with processing these complex emotions and experiences, I needed to evolve my work practice to include individual therapy. Thus began my journey from working in diversity and social inclusion into more therapeutic training. 

Once I began working and learning in mental health contexts, it became clear that for some groups of people, their “symptoms” can be caused by the systems and structures around them. The individual is then tasked with “fixing” themselves. There is so much more to what hurts people than simply changing one-self, especially when the frameworks around them are not affirming and thus are unsafe. 

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When working with all people I am most passionate about the use of Art Therapy. You do not need any art experience to do art therapy – it is about the process, not the end product. However, if you would like to use talk therapies I am also trained in Psychotherapy, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behaviour The-rapt and Acceptance and commitment Therapy.  All therapy is done in a client-centred manner and with a trauma-informed lens. I also incorporate yoga to my therapeutic practice. When the brain and heart feel stuck, a bottom up physiological approach can help. Integrating yoga into my sessions is a wonderful tool for body/mind integration and for creating safety and emotional-regulation in our bodies while processing traumatic situations.

I work with people of all ages. I added child-centred play therapy to my toolkit to be able to meet my littlest clients where they are at, helping children make sense of the world in ways most relevant to them, through art, imagination, creativity and play.

I also draw from experiences gained within the multiple roles I've had in the Mental Health, Youth and Community Sectors. I have previously worked in:

  • Youth Mental Health at headspace 

  • Community Liaison and Family Dispute Resolution at Relationships Australia Victoria

  • Early Intervention Crime Prevention and for young people at YSAS

  • Family and Youth Support for Refugees and Asylum Seekers at The Brotherhood of St Laurence

  • Youth Support and Programs in local government at the City of Boroondara Youth Services

  • Parent and Child Programs with Communities in East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory with FAST

  • Youth Programs in the Tiwi Islands Northern Territory with NTCSA

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I often work as part of multidisciplinary teams with other types of therapists, particularly with my NDIS clients. A person’s journey can be complex and often a few different people need to be part of that along the way – sometimes simultaneously. Harnessing my strengths, training, experience and individuality, I find joy in contributing to a team approach and working with others. 

I am so excited and grateful to be growing my practise and joining forces with Sammy who I love and adore! If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading!​ Check out our other great team members to see if they might be even better fit for your journey.

Go gently, and happy traversing 

 

PLEASE NOTE: Chenai's books are currently full and she is not taking on new clients at the moment.

Tertiary Qualifications
  • Masters in Therapeutic Arts Practice, (Therapy), MIECAT Institue, 2018

  • Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution, Relationships Australia, 2010

  • Bachelor of Arts, Deakin University, 2007


Additional Qualifications / Training

  • Clinical Play Therapy Training (ongoing)

  • Child Centred Play Therapy Training | 2019

  • Kids Yoga Teacher Training | Cosmic Kids Yoga 2019

  • Yoga Teacher Training | The Yoga Social 2018

  • Tuning into Teens Parenting Course, University of Melbourne, 2018

  • Drumbeat Training | Holyoake 2018

  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), LivingWorks, 2017

  • Advanced Training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 2016 

  • Advanced Training in Adult and Child Psychotherapy, 2016 

  • Trauma-Informed Practice | Various, ongoing