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Chenai Mupotsa-Russell (She/Her)
BA, Grad Dip FDRP, MTAP(Therapy), AThR, RYT
Founder | Co-Director | Consultant | Art Therapist | Child Psychotherapist | 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! 

My practice is social justice and liberation-oriented and alongside my research I strive to dismantle colonial constructs that lead to racism, stigma, discrimination, ableism, classism and cishetero-normativity in the mental health field.

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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 diverse populations. I also had opportunities to spend time overseas doing bottom up international development work.

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. My work became about walking alongside humans whilst also calling out systemic oppression and thinking ways in which we need to heal in community and not in isolation. Honouring how therapeutic relationships must incorporate peoples intersecting identities and be equitiable (even with the littles humans) to co-create meaning and thus healing.

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When working with all people I am most passionate about the use of therapeutic arts practice and my PhD research is in within community and liberation psychology. I work with people of all ages fostering authentic relationships. I am a late diagnosed audher and proudly embrace my own neurodivergence in work. I don't seek to change others, only to support humans to thrive as they are.

Prior to starting Rainbow Muse I gained lost of experiences 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. In this I always aim to bring whatever I may offer to aid in healing, making meaning, and regaining connection. We are all interconnected and through working in heart centred ways that emphasise culturally responsive,  liberatory and equitable practices thats where I think the magic happens. 

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 works exclusively from Warburton or online and is currently not taking new clients

Tertiary Qualifications
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Community Psychology), Victoria University, 2022 ongoing

  • Masters in Therapeutic Arts Practice, (Therapy), MIECAT Institute, 2018

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

  • Bachelor of Arts, Deakin University, 2007


Relevant Additional Training

  • Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga Certification 2023 (ongoing)

  • Synergetic Play Therapy | 2022

  • Child Centred Play Therapy Training | 2019

  • Trauma Informed Yoga Training | 2019

  • Kids Yoga Teacher Training | Cosmic Kids Yoga 2019

  • Yoga Teacher Training | The Yoga Social 2018

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