Molly M. McLay, MSW, LCSW

Molly M. McLay, MSW, LCSW

Social Work Doctoral Student
Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis

Research Interests

gender-based violence; creative writing interventions; prevention education; trauma-focused therapies; intervention research; clinical practice; implementation science; women’s issues; LGBTQIA+ populations


Molly M. McLay hails most recently from Champaign, Illinois, having received a BA in English Writing and Women’s and Gender Studies from Illinois Wesleyan University (2006) and an MSW from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011). An affiliate of the Center for Violence and Injury Prevention at the Brown School, Molly’s research focuses on the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions for gender-based violence, both prevention and treatment-focused. As a licensed clinical social worker, Molly has worked in both areas, empowering survivors in their healing processes and empowering communities to shift their thinking around these issues to promote consent and healthy relationships. From 2013-2019, she served as Assistant Director of the University of Illinois Women’s Resources Center, where she co-created three new peer-led gender-based violence prevention programs, revamped the first-year program reaching 9000+ students annually to become more inclusive to LGBTQIA+ students, taught courses, and served as a Title IX confidential advisor. Molly also works as a part-time telehealth therapist alongside her work as a PhD student. A longtime poet and musician, Molly also plans to develop evidence-supported creative writing interventions to aid in both prevention and therapeutic response efforts, centering on the change process that happens in writing and how that can translate to individual and systemic belief changes.

CV and More

Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

Garthe, R. C., Fedock, G., Rieger, A., Hsieh, W., McLay, M. M., & Malcome, M. (accepted for publication). Women’s Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence While Incarcerated (IPV-I): The Measurement Structure, Reliability, and Validity of a Novel Instrument. Violence Against Women.

McLay, M. M. (2022). When “shelter-in-place” isn’t shelter that’s safe: A rapid analysis of domestic violence case differences during the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders. Journal of Family Violence, 37(6), 861-870.

Edmond, T., and McLay, M. M. (2022). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. In Social Workers’ Desk Reference. Oxford University Press.

Bennouna, C., Brumbaum, H., McLay, M. M., Allaf, C., Wessells, M., and Stark, L. (2021). The role of culturally responsive social and emotional learning in supporting refugee inclusion and belonging: A thematic analysis of service provider perspectives. PLOS One.

Recent and Upcoming Presentations

McLay, M. M., Foell, A., and Auslander, W. (2021). Preventing gender-based violence in adolescents: A systematic review of the literature. Oral presentation accepted for the 2021 Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA (virtual due to COVID-19).

Edmond, T. E., Cheng, S.-Y., McLay, M. M., and Voth Schrag, R. (2021). Exploring the nexus of empowerment practice and cognitive processing therapy in rape crisis centers. Oral presentation accepted for the 2021 Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA (virtual due to COVID-19).