At that point, Monyeé was a completely different student. She was older. She was a mother. And she was opening up to an awareness that would inform her work as both a therapist and an artist.
That awareness centered on the same interconnectedness she’d tapped into as a child. Just as she’d felt a kinship to animate and inanimate objects alike, she began to explore unorthodox ways of helping people. She participated in Wraparound treatment plans in which patients are supported with social services and therapy as well as family and community resources.
“It was like you were never working on those cases alone,” Monyeé says. “You became a part of the family for a year or two.”
This experience, combined with an approach to therapy that Monyeé playfully describes as gumbo — “throw anything in the pot and see what works” — led Monyeé to her current work in healing through “decolonization.”
Decolonization is a big claim and one that Monyeé is careful to explain. “I think people think race, but I really think in terms of culture and ethnicity, because many cultures have been colonized by other cultures.”
Just as the world is home to many plants and many animals, so too must it support many people, cultures and personalities in order to thrive.
“The idea that there should be one type of human or one way for humans to live is anti-creation,” Monyeé points out.