This is a stressful and disheartening time for students who did not match in Phase I. I am disappointed that APPIC decided to start Phase II immediately on Match Day when in past years, it waited until the following Monday to give applicants time to recuperate from not matching. You deserved a couple days of recovery!
Some thoughts about proceeding to Phase II –
- Remember that so much of the match is a numbers issue (after goodness of fit) – there can be more qualified applicants than positions available when you take into account goodness of fit. (i.e., don’t over-interpret why you didn’t match as a deficit on your part)
- Seek support from a faculty advisor or clinical supervisor as well as from your program’s DCT – to discuss next steps, review your application materials, and receive support.
- Contact a couple of sites that you thought you had a good interview at and ask them for feedback. This may feel difficult to do, but it can provide useful information as you enter the next phase of the application process. Many training directors are willing to provide feedback when asked.
- There are many good APA-accredited options in Phase II (although it may require one to be flexible about geographic location). Should you consider a non-APA-accredited internship? This depends on your professional goals and personal circumstances, so be sure to consult your faculty advisor or DCT to weigh the pros and cons. See also APPIC’s comments about accreditation.
- Apply to sites that are a good match for your interest and skills – goodness of fit is still a significant factor in finding an internship!
Context is important to note – the internship match process is an imperfect (and outdated) system that does not account for student circumstances (family, safety, finances) that make it difficult for them to move, which limits internship options. It’s also important to acknowledge that not all students have access to supportive and knowledgeable professional mentors to help them get through an incredibly cumbersome process.
The main thing to hold onto in Phase II is perspective – not matching is really hard on the ego, but it’s important to note that this is not an indictment about your worth, skills or qualifications. It’s certainly important to grieve this difficult and emotional process, but try not to let it redefine who you are as a psychologist in training. Many students who found their internship in Phase II or Post-Match Vacancy Service had positive internship experiences and are now psychologists!
Best wishes to all of you in Phase II!