“BYU offers an environment that is not found many other places,” says new School of Family Life professor Dr. Chelom Leavitt. “We can discuss science and social issues and still be infused with the Spirit. We have a chance to learn powerful lessons about our fields of research from the Spirit.” She intends to utilize both the Spirit and secular studies in her research on sex and relationships.
To Dr. Leavitt, research on relationships and sex is critical for a healthy society: “In our larger society and especially in media, sex is talked about as a pretty cheap thing. Hook ups, multiple partners, and personal pleasure are regularly promoted. However, as I work with couples, they often ask how they can deepen the meaning of sex and increase intimacy. I think most people are hungry for greater meaning in their intimate relationships. I examine how mindfulness during sexual experiences may provide just that. As we slow down our thoughts and remain non-judgmental, we are capable of connecting in more meaningful ways. We feel more. We are more accepting of ourselves and our partners. I love researching skills and ideas that give couples more opportunities to unify.”
Dr. Leavitt wasn’t always a researcher. She started as a lawyer, but eventually realized that many of her clients had never had the benefit of education. “Teaching and learning are blessings in our lives that help us gain a broader perspective and see clearer the issues of our day,” she said.
She offered the following advice for students: “Listen to the small promptings of what you can become. I constantly remind myself that a small amount of progress is progress, and will accumulate into great things.”
Welcome Professor Leavitt!