Mara McGraw, MSW - Relational Mindfulness for individuals, couples & moresomes
Common Questions

Do you work with polyamory and multiple relationships? 
I specialize in supporting the broadest spectrum of relationship identities and configurations including but not limited to triads, pods, families, intentional communities, non-hierarchical, solo, primary-secondary, and mono-poly unions.  

I'm monogamous, can your strategies help my relationship?
Absolutely! Relational mindfulness skills are based in a universal application of behavioral science from a foundation of Awareness, Courage and Love which apply to all styles of interdependence.

I'm not in a relationship right now, are there still benefits to working with you?
Success in relationship with others relies on defining and solidifying our relationship with ourselves. This level of self compassion and interpersonal effectiveness supports romantic as well as pragmatic interactions.

Do you see us separately or together? 
That depends on the needs of those involved. After thorough assessment, if all parties agree that some individual work will benefit the whole, we will establish boundaries and expectations and agree to privacy guidelines. Independent work is continuously evaluated for its function in supporting the collective process. 

Will you work with our child? 
I have a extensive background in child and family therapy, and on occasion will invite children and teens into sessions with their parent-figures to support a "coaching" model of communicating around challenging relationship and family issues. However, if your child needs ongoing support, I'm happy to provide a list of esteemed colleagues who specialize in working with young clients. 

"Conscious Libido", do you only talk about sex? 
Whether we are celibate, asexual, inactive or active in expressing our sexuality, libido is a biological drive that enters into many aspects of our lives, especially relationships. We may or may not discuss the act of sex during sessions, and yet the full spectrum of authentic living considers your values, desires, goals and happiness in terms of sexual identity, orientation, activities and creative force.  

I've never talked about my kinky side, is it safe? 
As a kink positive therapist it's my priority to create a safe and supportive environment for vulnerable expression. Holding to a high standard of mindfulness, taking a non judgemental stance means I will meet you with compassionate attention and curiosity. I will never "yuck your yum". 

I'm not kinky, is that OK?
That's fantastic! You know yourself and your desires, and that's the best kind of OK there is. Though I'm a sex positive and kink positive therapist, I'm not here to influence or sway you toward any particular lifestyle.

Why are you not licensed? 
I was a licensed clinical social worker from 2008-2016. I voluntarily placed my Oregon license into in-active status to increase flexibility in the style of therapy I practice and the types of continuing education courses I attend (energy medicine, holistic health, tantra, sex and kink education,  etc). Though I no longer report to the State Board of LCSW's, by choice I maintain allegiance with the social work code of ethics and best practices guidelines. 

Can I use insurance for payment or reimbursement? 
When I retired my license I gave up access to insurance panels, and unfortunately HMO's and MHO's don't recognize Master's level clinicians in their formularies. I cannot bill insurance providers and they won't reimburse you for our sessions. If there is a financial need, I'm happy to discuss payment plans and sliding scale options. 

What if I need to cancel? 
If you need to cancel or change your appointment, please call or text my cell phone at 503-659-0220. Email is not routinely monitored and will not serve as cancellation notice. Cancellations made less than 24 hours in advance are subject to fees of my full session rate as I'm unlikely to be able to re-book that slot. Subject to availability, and at my discretion, if we are able to reschedule within the same week, a cancellation fee may be avoided. 

Do you offer a consultation prior to committing to sessions? 
Yes, let's first spend time on a short phone call and then set up a complimentary 20-minute in person consult. My style and therapeutic modalities are highly effective, yet aren't suited to all clients or all relationship issues. A face-to-face consultation allows us both to get a deeper sense of our potential fit.  

How do I schedule an appointment? 
Our initial assessment session might be set up at the consultation, or after taking some time to let things steep. Appointments and logistical aspects of therapy can be made by phone, text or email as long as there's no HIPAA breach or protected health information at risk. 

Who attends the initial appointment? 
Everyone who is interested in participating in the therapeutic process should attend both the consultation and the initial assessment. Additionally, there are often follow-up assessments with individuals separate from the collaborative union(s). 

What do I bring to our first session? 
A willingness to share your story, fears, hopes, desires and goals. Some background information and contacts for other providers is also helpful. 

What if I have questions about medications? 
I'm not a medical professional. I can discuss generalities about medications and supplements, weigh-in on a decision to seek a prescriber and support your search for the best match with a referral list of conventional and alternative care providers. 

I'm allergic to dogs, can I still see you? 
BB is a pet therapy dog and resident of the home and office of Conscious Libido PDX. I suggest considering your sensitivity to pets, the potential reaction and consequences of exposure balanced with the benefits of our work. We if can't meet here I also provide out-calls for an additional travel expense. 

Can I leave a confidential message for you? 
Yes, on voicemail and text. however please note that though I take the necessary precautions to maintain your confidentiality and keep you PHI safe, technology is not foolproof, and most email is not considered HIPAA complaint. DO NOT send protected health information to me in an email or voicemail. 

What if I'm having a crisis?
Occasionally crisis arises in the midst of emotional work. Planning for self care and supports outside of session as well as striving to build a "tool box" of distress tolerance and emotion regulation skills can help maintain balance and perspective. I do not have after-hours or a weekend call service. Voicemail message are returned within 2 business days. Email messages should never contain crisis requests as they may not be received or reviewed for up to 3 business days. 

If you're having a mental health emergency you should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.  If you have an urgent mental health issue in need of immediate support, please call the Multnomah County Crisis Line at 503-988-4888.