A book about grief through photography and reflection

Choosing Light: Transforming Grief through the Practice of Mindful Photography and Self-Reflection

“Dr. Thomas’ masterful writing about the practice of mindful photography and reflective journaling benefits people who grieve and those who sit alongside them– her words [in this book about grieving] are a gift. This book is an awakening for the soul.”

— Susan L. Schoenbeck, nurse educator; author


Overwhelming grief can lead to a loss of meaning and direction that can last years. Through the practice of mindful photography and self-reflection, we can use photography as therapy and learn to face grief and create authentic meaning from our experiences of loss. Learning to slow down, notice, create, and reflect inspires a sense of confidence, inner strength, gratitude, meaningful insight, and wisdom. And as we engage these skills through practice, our unique story and path unfold. 

For those actively grieving as well as for death and grief practitioners and educators, this book will show you how the Within and Without Mindful Photography therapeutic method can be transformative for individuals, groups, and communities. Through guided steps and real-life exemplars, you will learn the framework to help support your clients—or yourself—in creating authentic meaning and insights through grief. 

What You'll Learn


Choosing Light

Who Should Read this book

The Academic

For Professionals & Educators who want a creative way to help their clients in fields of therapy & counseling, death industry workers, and organizations including hospitals, hospices, & grief organizations. This book on grief will help you feel energized by your work instead of burnt out. Through guided steps and real-life exemplars, you will learn the framework to help support your clients in creating authentic meaning and insights through grief.

The Grieving

For individuals who might feel isolated in their grief and are seeking a sense of community and understanding that resonates with their personal experiences. For those interested in intersections of art and science, art and psychology, or the power of vivid imagery to make an impact and change your perspective- both those seen with the lens of your eyes and with the lens of the camera. This book uses self-reflection therapy to grow and transform through your grief.

Meet Dr. Jessica Thomas

About the Author

Dr. Jessica Thomas holds an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy and a PhD in Psychology with an emphasis in Transpersonal Psychology. She is a therapist, clinical supervisor, grief educator, and organizational consultant. Jessica has served on the not-for-profit board of the NW Association for Death Education and Bereavement Support for over eight years. 

As a professor at Lewis & Clark College, she has created coursework and taught on death and grief, psycho-spiritual development and counseling, research methods, and clinical supervision. Jessica’s subsequent developments include integrating her mindful photography therapeutic method into groups. Within and Without Mindful Photography reflection groups support those who are traversing grief due to a death or other major life transitions.

When Reading,

Open Up To

  • Accessible and practical guidance on mediating or transforming grief
  • Creative and innovative approaches to self-healing
  • Insights from a trusted and experienced professional
  • Stories and examples that resonate with your experiences
  • A sense of community and shared understanding
  • Exploration of grief and loss through the lens of Mindful Photography
  • Applicable concepts and practices to your own life
  • Understanding grief not just as a challenge but as an opportunity for growth
  • Techniques for self-reflection and creating meaning from loss
  • Comfort, inspiration, and empowerment in your journey through grief

What Readers Are saying

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