Maria Glowacka

I am a Clinical Psychology PhD student. I was born in Wroclaw, Poland, but grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I completed my undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University and graduated with Honours in Psychology and a Forensic Psychology Certificate. Prior to entering graduate school, I was a research coordinator for Dr. Natalie Rosen and this is when my interest in the sexual health field flourished. I am interested in female sexual pain disorders and how various psychological variables impact pain intensity and couples’ wellbeing. My first comprehensive project assessed the relationship between fear avoidance variables (catastrophizing, hypervigilance, anxiety, and fear of pain) and genito-pelvic pain after childbirth. For my dissertation, I developed and validated a measure of a novel construct: sexual contingent self-worth (CSW) – self-worth that is dependent on maintaining a successful sexual relationship – and examined the associations between sexual CSW and couples’ psychological and sexual wellbeing and pain in women who suffer from provoked vestibulodynia and their partners. I hope that my research will help health professionals develop more effective and efficient interventions for couples in which women experience pain during intercourse.