Shannon Lawless RP, RMFT-S

Shannon Lawless image

Shannon Lawless, Registered Psychotherapist, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist-Supervisor (she/her)

Clinical Director/Practice Founder

Virtual practice

Not currently accepting new clients 

I am a relationship therapist specializing in individual, couples, family and sex therapy, and maintain a clinical practice in Ottawa West (Kanata). In this section you can learn a little about me, my training, and my research.


I hold a Bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Ottawa, and a Master of Science degree in Couple and Family Therapy from the University of Guelph. I have also had additional training to be able to specialize in Sex Therapy. I strongly believe in continuing education and regularly seek out additional training through conferences and workshops.

Additional Training

I strive to continue my education through all means available to me. Often, I will seek out additional training through regular perusal of academic journals, conducting my own research, and attending workshops and conferences. Some of the notable workshops that inform my clinical work are listed below: 

  • Complex Trauma Certification:  Interventions from EMDR, Parts work, CPT and Polyvagal Theory
  • Dennis Windego - Journeying with the felt sense and the medicine wheel
  • Somatic Experiencing - Beginning I, II and III; Intermediate I and II (Cohort of 2022-2025)
  • Treating Complex Trauma with Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy Certification Training
  • Advanced Master Program on the Treatment of Trauma
  •  AAMFT/OAMFT Approved Supervision course - 30 Hours and reflection paper
  • Certified Yoga Instructor - Yoga Alliance 
  • Elliot Connie - Solution Building Couples Therapy
  •  Jill Freedman - Listening, witnessing and intimate relationships: Using narrative therapy in working with couples
  • Best Practices in Treating Youth with Substance Use Problems
  • Michael Stone - Living an intimate life: exploring the existential dimension in clinical work
  • Barry McCarthy - Rekindling Desire: assessment, treatment and relapse prevention of sexual dysfunction
  • Esther Perel - Attachment, Intimacy and Sexuality in Individual and Couples Therapy
  • Lalita Salins - Sandtray-Worldplay: An Introduction
  • Bruce Perry – Neurobiology and the Traumatized Child
  • Collaborative Problem Solving Training - Tier I and Tier II intensive training
  • The Winds of Change Narrative Conference
  • Liana Lowenstein - Creative interventions with children who have experienced sexual abuse
  • Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) Training 
  • Integrating attachment and Narrative Approaches in the Trauma Healing Process 
  • Gottman Couples Therapy Level 1: A Research Based Approach
  • Kaethe Weingarten: Fostering Resilience in our Clients and Ourselves 
  • Dan Hughes: Building the Bonds of Attachment 
  • Intensive Sex Therapy training and Sex Attitude Reassessment (Audited again in 2021) 
  •  ASIST Suicide Intervention Training 

Professional Associations

I am affiliated with a number of professional associations. I am a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (registration number: 0001588) and a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist and Approved Supervisor with the Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (membership # 2017672). 

I am also an Associate Member of the Association of Sex Therapists of Ontario.

I was elected as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and served in this role from January 2017 to December 2019. 

Presentations and Research Contributions

I remain a long-standing member of the Optimal Sexual Experiences Research Team with the University of Ottawa. For more information on the research and group therapy options please see:

Peer Reviewed Articles

Kleinplatz, P. J., Charest, M., Paradis, N., Rosen, L. A., Lawless, S., & Ramsay, T. (In press). Remote versus in-person group therapy for couples distressed by low/no sexual desire/frequency or sexual desire discrepancy: A response to COVID-19. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy

Kleinplatz, P.J., Paradis, N., Charest, M., Lawless, S., Neufeld, M., Neufeld, R., Pratt, D., Ménard, A.D., Buduru, B., & Rosen, L. (2018). From Sexual Desire Discrepancies to Desirable Sex: Creating the Optimal Connection Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 44 (5), 438–449.

Ménard, A.D., Kleinplatz, P.J., Rosen, L., Lawless, S., Paradis, N., Campbell, M., and Huber, J.D. (2015). Individual and relational contributors to optimal sexual experiences in older men and women Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 30(1), 78-93.

Kleinplatz, P.J., Ménard A.D., & Lawless, S. (2014). Lessons about optimal sexual experiences from remarkable lovers In Alex C. Michalos (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. (3540-3543). Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. 

Conference Presentations

What Leads to Optimal Sexual Experiences? Peggy J. Kleinplatz, A. Dana Ménard, Meghan Campbell, Nicolas Paradis, Lianne Rosen, Christopher Wannamaker and Shannon Lawless Annual Meeting of The Society for Sex Therapy and Research, Chicago, US., April, 2012.

"Treating" Low Desire by Creating Optimal Erotic Intimacy Peggy J. Kleinplatz, Maxime Charest, Nicolas Paradis, Marlene Neufeld, Robert Neufeld, Shannon Lawless, Danielle Pratt, A. Dana Ménard, Bogdan Buduru, Lianne Rosen, Myddryn Ellis. American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, Philadelphia, June, 2019.

The More We Work Together, The Happier We'll Be: Mixed Methods Research on Treating Low Desire by Creating Optimal Sexual Experience Peggy J. Kleinplatz, Maxime Charest, Nicolas Paradis, Marlene Neufeld, Robert Neufeld, Shannon Lawless, Danielle Pratt, A. Dana Menard, Bogdan Buduru, Lianne Rosen, Myddryn Ellis. Annual Meeting of The Society for The Scientific Study of Sexuality, Montreal, Quebec, November, 2018.

Treating Low Desire and Low Sexual Frequency by Promoting Optimal Sexual Experience Peggy J. Kleinplatz, Maxime Charest, Nicolas Paradis, Shannon Lawless, Marlene Neufeld, Robert Neufeld, Danielle Pratt, A. Dana Ménard, Bogdan Buduru, Lianne Rosen, Myddryn Ellis. Annual Meeting of the Society for Sex Therapy and ResearchPhiladelphia, U.S.A., April, 2018.

Feeling While Touching: Communication and Empathy in Extraordinary Erotic Intimacy Peggy J. Kleinplatz, A. Dana Ménard, Nicolas Paradis, Shannon Lawless, Lianne Rosen, Marlene Neufeld, Bob Neufeld. International Human Science Research Conference, Ottawa, Canada, July, 2016

A Phenomenological Approach to Optimal Erotic Intimacy Peggy J. Kleinplatz, Amy Dana Ménard, Lianne Rosen, & Shannon Lawless Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Ottawa, Canada, June, 2015.

The Interplay of Individual and Relational Contributors to Optimal Sexual Intimacy  Peggy J. Kleinplatz, A. Dana Ménard, Lianne Rosen, Shannon Lawless, Nicolas Paradis, Meghan Campbell, & Jonathan Huber. Canadian Sex Research Forum, Guelph, Canada, October, 2014.

Developmental Contributors to Wonderful Sexual Experiences Dana Ménard, Peggy J. Kleinplatz, Nicolas Paradis, Christopher Wannamaker, Meghan Campbell, & Shannon Lawless. Canadian Sex Research Forum, Ottawa, Canada, October, 2012.

What Leads to Optimal Sexuality? Contributing Factors Peggy J. Kleinplatz, A. Dana Ménard, Meghan Campbell, Nicolas Paradis, Lianne Rosen, Christopher Wannamaker, &  Shannon Lawless. Annual Guelph Conference on Sexuality, Guelph, Canada, June, 2012.

Personal Features

When I am not providing therapy, I enjoy reading, dancing, practicing/teaching yoga and spending time with family and friends. 

Shannon's Rates

Individual therapy - $170 plus HST per 50 minute session

Couples or Family therapy - $185 plus HST per 50 minute session

Supervision rate - please inquire with Shannon for details


Longer sessions with any therapist are available and rates are adjusted in 15 minute increments. 

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