Consider these steps to get back on track: 

  • Ask for brutal feedback. The first thing Amy Swier-Vosnos, PsyD, did when she didn't match was to sit down with her training director for "a very honest conversation about what I needed to do to get the kind of internship I wanted," she says. And don't limit your conversations to direct advisers, says Glen Veed, PhD. After not matching, Veed talked with a wide variety of established psychologists. "They're going to have different insights and give you a sense of your options," he says. Both Swier-Vosnos and Veed stress the importance of asking for the brutal truth. Swier-Vosnos applied the same strategy to rehearsing for interviews. "I went to these same mentors and asked them to be really, really hard on me," she says. "I got really good feedback from that."

  • Find out where you fell short. Contact the training directors of the places you applied to and ask what you could do better the next time around, says Sharon Berry, PhD, chair of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers. Swier-Vosnos took it one step further and contacted directors of the programs she planned to apply to the next year to ask what they look for in applicants. The majority of training directors didn't return her call, "but the few that I did talk to were very open with me and were very encouraging," she says.

  • Network. Who you — or your advisers — know at a training site can make a big difference in whether you find a placement, says Veed. "The networking thing can't be underestimated."

—M. Phillips