Michael LaSala
Michael LaSala

Associate Professor

PhD, SUNY at Albany
Dr. LaSala's research interests include clinical social work, gay and lesbian issues, and marriage and family therapy.


Michael C. LaSala, PhD, LCSW is associate professor and former MSW Director at the School of Social Work at Rutgers University. He has been a practicing clinical social worker and teacher/trainer for 30 years. His research and clinical specialties are the couple and family relationships of gay men and lesbians, and his current empirical work examines the role of gay and lesbian family relationships in coping with stigma and also parental influence on gay youth's safer sex behaviors. Dr. LaSala’s book entitled: Coming out, coming home: Helping families adjust to a gay or lesbian child (Columbia University Press) describes the findings and practice implications of a National Institute of Mental Health funded qualitative study of 65 gay and lesbian youth and their families.  Other examples of Dr. LaSala’s work can be found in over 25 peer-reviewed journal articles and his blog for Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/gay-and-lesbian-well-being). Dr. LaSala is a former Fulbright fellow and a much sought after speaker on gay and lesbian couple and family issues.  He has recently presented workshops, keynotes, and plenaries in Sweden, Canada, Finland, Estonia, Italy, and throughout the U.S..  Further information on Dr. LaSala’s work can be found on his website http://drmichaellasala.com

Courses Taught:

  • Clinical Social Work: Families
  • Clinical Social Work: Solution-Focused Therapy

Selected Recent Publications:

LaSala, M. C., Fedor, J. P., Revere, E. J., & Carney, R. (in press). What parents and their gay and bisexual sons say about HIV prevention. Qualitative Health Research, (32 pages). 

Toros, K. & LaSala, M.C. (in press). Estonian child protection workers’ assessment perspectives: The need for competence and confidence. International Social Work (37 pages). 

Toros, K., LaSala, M. C., & Medar, M.  (in press). Assessment of children in need in a post-Soviet context.Journal of Family Social Work (31 pages). 

LaSala, M. C. (2015). Condoms and connections: Parents, gay and bisexual youth and HIV risk.  Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12088.  

LaSala, M. C. (2013). Out of the darkness: Three waves of family research and the emergence of family therapy for gay and lesbian people.  Clinical Social Work, 42, 267-276. 

LaSala, M. C. & Frierson, D. (2012). African American gay youth and their families:

Redefining masculinity, coping with racism and homophobia. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Family Studies, 8, 428-445.

 LaSala, M. C.  (2010).  Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child.  New York: Columbia University Press.

LaSala, M. C., Jenkins, D., Wheeler, D. P., & Fredriksen-Goldsen, K.I.  (2008). LGBT Faculty, Research, and Researchers: Risks and Rewards. Journal of Gay and Lesbian, Social Services. 21, 253-267. 

LaSala, M. C. (2007). Old maps, new territory: Family therapy theory and gay and lesbian couples. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Family Studies.  Journal of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Family Studies, Innovations in Theory, Research, and Practice, 3, 1-14. 

LaSala, M. C. (2007). Too many eggs in the wrong basket: A queer critique of the  same-sex marriage movement. Social Work, 53,129-132 

LaSala, M. C. (2007). Parental influence, gay youth, and safer sex. Health and Social Work, 32, 49- 55. 

Melendez, M. P. & LaSala, M. C. (2006).   Who's oppressing whom?: Homosexuality, Christianity and social work.  Social Work, 51, 371-377. 

LaSala, M. C.
(2006). Cognitive and environmental interventions for gay males: Addressing stigma and its consequences. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, 87, 181-189. 

LaSala, M. C. (2005).  Queering ideas: The descriptive and theory building potential of  qualitative research with lesbian and gay families. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 18, 61-72. 

LaSala, M. C.  (2004). Monogamy of the heart: A qualitative study of  gay male couples. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 17, 1-24. 

LaSala, M. C.
(2004). Comparing monogamous and nonmonogamous relationships. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, 85, 405-412. 

LaSala, M. C.
(2003). When interviewing "family": Maximizing the insider advantage in the  qualitative study of lesbians and gay men. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 15, 15-30.  

LaSala, M. C. (2002). Walls and bridges: How coupled gay men and lesbians manage their intergenerational relationships. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 28, 327-338.