belibala

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Hi everyone! Longtime lurker here and current post-doc applicant. This site has been immensely helpful to me from being a prospective applicant to now being (almost) done my clinical training. I was hoping to create a thread of success stories- for people who either matched in Phase 2 or went through the post-match. Learning about other people's experiences last year on these forums was extremely helpful for me since I didn't know of anyone personally who did not match.

I'm currently applying for post-doc sites and I am finding it a very different feeling than I did last year while going through the internship process. Last year, I applied to 8 sites, received 6 interviews, and went unmatched. I was disappointed, and the Phase 2 thread really helped me to keep motivated, and I was ultimately successful in getting a spot I really loved for internship.

Although everyone tried to console me by telling me that I'm still a worthy clinician, the self-critic inside had an absolute field day. I picked apart my interview performance since in my mind, my experiences and cover letters were 'good enough' to make it to the interview stage- therefore, it must have been something about 'me'. The worst part was that I actually finished each interview thinking that it went well- so I felt awful thinking that I had 'red flags' AND I could not identify them.

As a result, I still had many reservations going into post-doc season this year- to the point that I was embarrassed to tell anyone that I was applying (and dusting off my old account to post this!!). Thus far, I have been very pleasantly surprised. I applied to 6 spots, and have 5 interviews with 1 pending. Two of these spots are dream places- I would have never fathomed even possibly being a contender, but I found myself really enjoying the interview process. I am surprised at the differences between internship and post-doc, given that a) my experiences and cover letters have stayed relatively the same and b) my interview style has also remained the same. From what I've read in these forums, it also appears that many people feel the same way.

For the people who went through phase 2/post-match, I was wondering what you felt made the difference between an unsuccessful internship match to a successful post-doc position and/or job position? For me, my thought is that I work with a very specific clinical population and for my internship applications, I wanted a more generalist training in order to fill my gaps. However because I did not have much experience in other clinical populations, I didn't 'fit' with the generalist training. For post-doc, I am seeking more depth within my specialized area, which is probably why I am finding the process easier since this is what I love to do. That being said, I'm not sure what I could've done differently during my internship match since I have heard from many supervisors that it is important to obtain both breadth and depth throughout your training.
 
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Sure what a great idea for a thread!
I’m not as eloquent as you but I’ll give it a go. When I went into phase 2, I was afraid there wouldn’t be any “good” sites left (for me this meant forensic sites focusing on assessment) and there totally were!! I also matched to my #1 spot from 12 ranked places! This was way, way more interviews that I received in phase 1. Phase 1, I attempted to go to places where I could round out my training so I ended up applying to mostly settings/populations served where I didn’t have a lot of experience at all (I thought the point was to get the training!! Not to already have experience in those settings/populations!)

This totally backfired, and I applied to sites in Phase 2 that were like places where I did my practicums, and sure enough, there were a ton of interviews that came in!
 
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foreverbull

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I had the opposite experience (matched during phase I without issue and then struggled to get a postdoc), but you bring up a really important issue that comes up at the last of the formal training years prior to licensure: having related experience vs. seeking training in a somewhat new area, and how training directors view this (or what is it that they prefer)?

I’ve found that some sites don’t want to train people anew and require prior experience in an exact area or with the exact population, whereas some are willing to train a bit more. I’m not sure why there is a different philosophy on this from site to site, but I do think it makes it more difficult for applicants if they don’t know going in which sites are more open to training vs. just needing another worker bee who knows the drill and can see clients pretty much right away.
 
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I had the opposite experience (matched during phase I without issue and then struggled to get a postdoc), but you bring up a really important issue that comes up at the last of the formal training years prior to licensure: having related experience vs. seeking training in a somewhat new area, and how training directors view this (or what is it that they prefer)?

I’ve found that some sites don’t want to train people anew and require prior experience in an exact area or with the exact population, whereas some are willing to train a bit more. I’m not sure why there is a different philosophy on this from site to site, but I do think it makes it more difficult for applicants if they don’t know going in which sites are more open to training vs. just needing another worker bee who knows the drill and can see clients pretty much right away.
So what you are saying is...there are plenty opportunities for struggling throughout graduate school, and just because you aren't struggling now, doesn't mean a roadblock won't come up later lol I am so excited to be almost done and to be done jumping through yet one more hoop!!
 
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belibala

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Sure what a great idea for a thread!
I’m not as eloquent as you but I’ll give it a go. When I went into phase 2, I was afraid there wouldn’t be any “good” sites left (for me this meant forensic sites focusing on assessment) and there totally were!! I also matched to my #1 spot from 12 ranked places! This was way, way more interviews that I received in phase 1. Phase 1, I attempted to go to places where I could round out my training so I ended up applying to mostly settings/populations served where I didn’t have a lot of experience at all (I thought the point was to get the training!! Not to already have experience in those settings/populations!)

This totally backfired, and I applied to sites in Phase 2 that were like places where I did my practicums, and sure enough, there were a ton of interviews that came in!

yay congrats!! Also as a fellow Phase 2-er, TWELVE INTERVIEWS IS INSANITY to do all within that month!!!

I 100% agree with the thought of 'rounding out the training'- I almost feel 'punished' for attempting to do that. Ideally, I wanted an internship site that could provide me a major rotation in a generalist role and a minor in the specific clinical population, but most sites are either all general or all (very) specific. I am very glad I went into phase 2- I went into it knowing way more of what I wanted out of my internship year. I was only interested in 1 site in phase 2, and I interviewed at 2 to satisfy my DCT, but only ranked 1 because I'd rather do the year over.


I had the opposite experience (matched during phase I without issue and then struggled to get a postdoc), but you bring up a really important issue that comes up at the last of the formal training years prior to licensure: having related experience vs. seeking training in a somewhat new area, and how training directors view this (or what is it that they prefer)?

I’ve found that some sites don’t want to train people anew and require prior experience in an exact area or with the exact population, whereas some are willing to train a bit more. I’m not sure why there is a different philosophy on this from site to site, but I do think it makes it more difficult for applicants if they don’t know going in which sites are more open to training vs. just needing another worker bee who knows the drill and can see clients pretty much right away.


I'd also like to know this!! It really seems that there is a different teaching culture for each site and it is unclear (even at the interview stage) what kind of applicant they are looking for. There seems to be conflicting views on whether internship year should be to gain breadth or depth. Furthermore, I'm not sure whether seeking breadth during your internship year (despite wanting to specialize), will hurt you during postdoc interviews. Anyone want to chime in?

Going into postdoc, my current internship site offers a 'generalist' experience with the additional experience in the specific population I work with and (I think) this has been well-received during interviews. I'm also interviewing with other applicants who have done training in this population for all of their practicum + internship year, so my experience definitely stands out and whether this is a good thing or not, seems to be site-dependent. I also interviewed at a post-doc site where I loved the program, but both their current postdocs have either done an internship with them or practicum, so I wasn't surprised when I didn't get an offer. Strangely, it also impacted my own rankings of that program.

Personally, I feel that I am really benefiting from rounding out my training, and have gotten better with understanding the importance of differential diagnosis and also, understanding the various roles of psychology. I just hope that the postdoc positions I am applying for view this as 'breadth' rather than a 'lack of passion', so fingers crossed!
 
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Personally, I feel that I am really benefiting from rounding out my training, and have gotten better with understanding the importance of differential diagnosis and also, understanding the various roles of psychology. I just hope that the postdoc positions I am applying for view this as 'breadth' rather than a 'lack of passion', so fingers crossed!
Yes I struggled with that too!!In my cover letters, I clearly explained why I would benefit from this internship and what I could bring (I had experience in this setting, but not this exact age range. Or a similar age range, but not this work - for example had experience doing assessments with adolescents but no therapy experience). So I wonder if application committees thought "Based on her previous practicums, why is she applying here? She's never shown interest in this population/setting before." It's like they didn't even bother to read the cover letters and only looked at the cv and breakdown of hours :( breadth shouldn't be seen as lack of passion!

But I'm over it, I promise haha and I do like my current internship site a lot.
 
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foreverbull

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So what you are saying is...there are plenty opportunities for struggling throughout graduate school, and just because you aren't struggling now, doesn't mean a roadblock won't come up later lol I am so excited to be almost done and to be done jumping through yet one more hoop!!
Yeah, licensure will be a hoot, too! Just kidding.

I did end up eventually finding an unofficial postdoc that trained me to work with a new population and provide family therapy, so it worked out in the end. But some of the “official” postdocs for sure just wanted someone they could use as a fulltime worker rather than a true focus on training—this was very common at university counseling center postdocs especially unless it was a specific training track like eating disorders, couples, etc. Most are generalist paths though.
 
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Bumping this up for those who need support today with APPIC! I was in your shoes last year, sending hugs to those who didn’t match today.
 
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belibala

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To the Phase-2ers: This sucks. 100%. It's a tough spot to be in because on one hand, your ego is bruised and you are tired, but on the other hand, the deadline for phase 2 is in a week and you don't have much time to lick your wounds. I found it helpful to check the phase 2 sites at 10am and I made a short-list of the ones I was excited about it. After that, take the day off and go buy the second-cheapest wine because you deserve it. Re-group tomorrow and figure out your game plan for next steps.
 
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Hi everyone! I'm in the Phase 2 boat :/ I really appreciate hearing everyone's positive experiences. It's definitely helped reduce my anxiety level.

In an effort to help other folks in a similar predicament, I wanted to share the spreadsheet I made of all the participating sites currently listed on the NMS website. I organized the data and made it filterable, and I also went through added the type of sites for each accredited program is (e.g., AMC, CMH, VA). I'm wanting to work with both kids and adults, so I also added information on whether programs appeared to be child-focused or to include child/family in one of the available tracks (this was largely based on the site/track names).

I find this spreadsheet a lot more useful in sorting through and narrowing down potential sites then the list on the NMS website, so I figured I'd share it with others!

P.S., I posted here, as this seemed to be the only Match related thread created for this year, and I figured it'd get more visibility here than if I created a new thread. But I'm happy to take it down and post elsewhere if it doesn't fit here.
 

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Hi everyone! I'm in the Phase 2 boat :/ I really appreciate hearing everyone's positive experiences. It's definitely helped reduce my anxiety level.

In an effort to help other folks in a similar predicament, I wanted to share the spreadsheet I made of all the participating sites currently listed on the NMS website. I organized the data and made it filterable, and I also went through added the type of sites for each accredited program is (e.g., AMC, CMH, VA). I'm wanting to work with both kids and adults, so I also added information on whether programs appeared to be child-focused or to include child/family in one of the available tracks (this was largely based on the site/track names).

I find this spreadsheet a lot more useful in sorting through and narrowing down potential sites then the list on the NMS website, so I figured I'd share it with others!

P.S., I posted here, as this seemed to be the only Match related thread created for this year, and I figured it'd get more visibility here than if I created a new thread. But I'm happy to take it down and post elsewhere if it doesn't fit here.

Hey, thanks a lot for putting this together and sharing! I'm in the same boat :/ Been scrolling through the list all day and aimlessly clicking links, so this is super helpful!
 
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Hey, thanks a lot for putting this together and sharing! I'm in the same boat :/ Been scrolling through the list all day and aimlessly clicking links, so this is super helpful!
Yay! So good to hear it's helpful :) This experience is so ****ty. I'm glad I can make it suck even a little bit less for someone.
 
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Action_Potential

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I know excellent psychologists that matched in Round II or PMV; some even re-interviewed at sites where they didn't get ranked and were selected immediately! Some places don't rank every person they interview, despite agreeing they'd be a good fit. I encourage you all to reach out to sites where you interviewed if they have vacancies and you'd still like to be there.
 

digiwater

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I know excellent psychologists that matched in Round II or PMV; some even re-interviewed at sites where they didn't get ranked and were selected immediately! Some places don't rank every person they interview, despite agreeing they'd be a good fit. I encourage you all to reach out to sites where you interviewed if they have vacancies and you'd still like to be there.
We are allowed to ask sites that aren't listed on Phase II if they are filled? Wouldn't they already be filled then?
 

Spydra

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In an effort to help other folks in a similar predicament, I wanted to share the spreadsheet I made of all the participating sites currently listed on the NMS website. I organized the data and made it filterable, and I also went through added the type of sites for each accredited program is (e.g., AMC, CMH, VA). I'm wanting to work with both kids and adults, so I also added information on whether programs appeared to be child-focused or to include child/family in one of the available tracks (this was largely based on the site/track names).

I find this spreadsheet a lot more useful in sorting through and narrowing down potential sites then the list on the NMS website, so I figured I'd share it with others!
I vote you send this to APPIC with a note that says something like 'redesigning the Phase 1 and Phase 2 sites in this manner would be way more useful to everyone.' They are always saying they want applicant feedback so.......
 
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Action_Potential

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We are allowed to ask sites that aren't listed on Phase II if they are filled? Wouldn't they already be filled then?
If they are not listed they are filled. My point was if they are listed in Phase II , and you interviewed during Phase I, by all means try again. Reach out *if they have vacancies*.
 

Indiana_Jane

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I don’t know if anyone is looking for forensic sites, but I loved my interview at Atascadero. The only downside was writing shadow reports (this was the only reason I did not rank them higher).
 
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I vote you send this to APPIC with a note that says something like 'redesigning the Phase 1 and Phase 2 sites in this manner would be way more useful to everyone.' They are always saying they want applicant feedback so.......
This is such a good idea! I will do this! Thanks :)

I'm also gonna request some other changes to their APPIC directory. I hate that you can search FOR sites that are affiliated with a specific university (i.e., they only accept candidates from that site, at least for Phase I), but you can't exclude them. I hated getting excited about a site and then finding out they only accepted applicants from some random university. Also, why is the program description so low on the info page? I don't wanna learn about all the awesome fringe benefits for a site that is totally irrelevant to me.
 
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