Between 2012- 2015, Dr. Stai completed an APA accredited internship and APPIC accredited postdoctoral fellowship at Casa Pacifica in Camarillo, CA, a residential and emergency shelter for children of all ages. Most of these children were exposed to severe physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse, as well as neglect, exposure to drugs, and exposure to pornography. Dr. Stai has been trained to work with those who have suffered trauma from a trauma-focused, cognitive-behavioral approach (TF-CBT).
In the fall of 2015, Dr. Stai relocated to Iowa to be closer to family and friends. Iowa has always held a special place for her, and she was eager to trade the busy city life of Los Angeles for the calmness and natural beauty that Iowa has to offer. For 3 ½ years, Dr. Stai worked as a child and adolescent psychologist at Hope Springs Behavioral Consultants, an outpatient group practice located in Coralville. From her employment there she gained extensive experience in both individual therapy and neuropsychological assessment.
During graduate school, Dr. Stai received extensive experience with various practicum sites. These included an assessment practicum at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), where she focused on testing, reassessing, and diagnosing children with Autism. She also completed a therapy practicum at BHC Alhambra Hospital in the inpatient eating disorder unit, where she worked with both adolescents and adults.
A Psy.D. is a doctorate of psychology. While it requires the same level of education and training as a Ph.D. (a doctorate of philosophy), it is different from a Ph.D. in that the training is more clinically specialized and promotes a stronger focus on becoming a clinical practitioner (aka therapist), whereas Ph.D. programs tend to place additional emphasis on academic training to become a researcher or professor.