Markku Siltala – Well-being in Grief

Markku Siltala, Doctor of Theology, Psychotherapist and Priest, is an expert on grief. His special gift is to be present with you and support you when you are suffering through loss, sorrow or death.

Markku guides your well-being in the midst of grief, encouraging you – whether you are an adult, young person or child – to be with your grief in your own unique way. His words bring comfort and confidence, open up hope and new perspectives, and provide you with tools and resources to continue to live meaningfully during this challenging time.

As a theologian and a religious scientist, Markku’s courage and open-mindedness led him to carry out a ThD on those experiencing the loss of a loved one, the first research of its kind in Finland. From analysing the data from over 600 stories, he identified that, in the majority of cases, people experience the deceased through their physical senses. Moreover, he found that not all experiences of the deceased involve grief – some are totally independent of grief. He also found that experiences of the deceased often reduced the fear of death.
Markku’s research and his subsequent book on the subject, “Hän oli siinä” – “He was there” – provide fresh, comforting perspectives on death for anyone experiencing grief, and that the connection with a loved one can continue even after death. The book is an uplifting and easy-to-read package of information on a subtle, rarely talked about, but important and universal topic.

Grief Therapy
What if everything is well in you and you are enough…?
My therapy opens up perspectives on self-acceptance in life-changing situations. You can come to me to discuss things that weigh on your mind, cause sorrow, bring hard challenges, cause conflict or confuse life. I give you a place and space to discuss, on your own terms and in your own language, anything that has taken away your strength or generated negative emotions and sorrow.
As a psychotherapist, my specialty is facing grief. I have a deep understanding of grief and the diverse ways each of us can experience it. In my clinical practice, I support those experiencing loss, death, and grief, provide tools and resources to help during this challenging time, and offer comfort and hope.
With me, you can also discuss your personal experience of the presence of the deceased in an accepting, kind, and supportive environment.
You can come to my reception without a referral, alone or with a spouse or friend; children are welcome too. I also accept occupational health and insurance clients: ask your occupational health care provider or doctor about this.
My experience tells me that even a single conversation can make a profound difference.
Welcome to my reception in Pihlajalinna; book your time here (

An abstract of  Jälleenkohtaamisia/Reunions (my dissertation research)

The purpose of this dissertation research was to investigate and illustrate how Finnish people describe their Post Death Contact (PDC) experiences and how they interpret the PDC effects on their perceptions about life and death. The results of this study were reflected through the framework of the Continuing Bonds grief theory (later CB-theory). According to Walter (1996) and Klass (2006b) the CB-theory’s PDC experiences are an intrinsic part of the grief process, which aim to re-design a deceased one’s biography by talking about the deceased one and by talking to the deceased one. The PDC experiences based on this research were investigated from the above mentioned point of view. The theoretical framework was derived from a synthesis of the earlier respected research about PDC experiences and the Continuing Bonds grief theory. 

The goal of the research was to disclose information, create concepts about and classification of the PDC experiences so that they could be recognised, handled and understood. The research questions were the following: 1) What kind of PDC experiences do Finnish people describe having had, 2) how do Finnish people say these experiences influence their perceptions about life and death, and 3) how do the PDC experiences of this research appear through the framework of the Continuing Bonds grief theory? 

Research data collection was based on the 613 documented narratives about the PDC experiences written by 195 Finnish people of which 83% were women and 17% were men, age range varying between 19 and 97 years. The data were collected at the end of 2013 and at the beginning of 2014. This research represents an empirical research data and it was conducted as a qualitative case research concerning the PDC experience narratives that were described. As to methodological decisions, content analysis was executed both as a data based and as a theory driven method. This research qualifies as a study of religion due to its appreciative approach. 

As an answer to the research question, a typological classification with distinguishable descriptions was created. It classified the PDC experiences into direct concrete experiences and indirect symbolically interpreted ones. In addition, the direct experiences were further classified by the way an experience was received into three main categories; external perceptions, internal feelings and a state of sleep experiences. Based on the classification of the 613 documented stories, 13 types of PDC experiences were found.

According to the research results, the PDC experiences were regarded as natural and mainly positive. They were said to influence considerably and in many ways people’s perceptions on life and death by changing people’s conceptions about life continuing in death, and the presence of the deceased one after his or her death. The PDC experiences also diminished people’s fear of death or totally removed it. Additionally the PDC experiences reported to have an influence on people’s beliefs and choices. 

The results received of the PDC experiences were mainly in line with the CB-theory regarding continuing bonds in human relations in grief. However, based on this data, the main difference was that people also had PDC experiences outside of the so-called grief time; before the death, at the time of the death or a long time after the death. Furthermore, it was recognised that the PDC experiences had a significant impact on the re-design of a deceased one’s biography.

Please, find my dissertation in this link Jälleenkohtaamisia