Advice for Grieving Military Losses

Dr. Jan Canty Advice for Grieving Military Losses
Drive On Podcast
Advice for Grieving Military Losses

Dr. Jan Canty is a psychologist of about 40 years. In 1985, her spouse was murdered and she has since made it her life’s mission to help other homicide survivors. In this episode, we discuss combat deaths and some of the things to do and not to do when facing those situations.

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Scott DeLuzio    00:00:00    Thanks for tuning into the Drive On Podcast where we’re focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community, whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or family member, this podcast we’ll share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio. And now let’s get on with the show. Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today, my guest is Dr. Jan Canty. Dr. Canty is a psychologist of about 40 years, and in 1985, her spouse was murdered and she has since made it her life mission to help other homicide survivors and having her on the podcast today. Not necessarily to talk directly about homicide, but we deal with all sorts of different kinds of deaths, combat death, and training accidents in the military community. I’m having her come on to talk about some of the unique aspects of those types of death, and really help us try to process those things in our own lives, with the people that we know. So welcome to the show.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:01:13    Well thank you for having me

Scott DeLuzio     00:01:14. I’m glad you’re here. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?  

Dr. Jan Canty   00:01:21    Well, I was born, raised, educated, and widowed in Detroit. I was married to a man 11 years ago. I was in training to be a psychologist. He was a psychologist when he failed to come home one night from work and long story short within 10 days, they’d found his body. He had been kidnapped, I mean, not kidnapped. He had been cornered and beaten to death with a baseball bat and killed. And then they, the man who killed him, John Fry, dismembered him and took him up to Northern Michigan and buried him in a shallow grave. I think that what brought it all to light was who helped with the barrel. He did not participate in the killing, but he held the cover-up. Had he not come forward. I don’t know that they would’ve ever figured it out, but he did. And they got caught and they both got sentenced.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:02:16    There were two people involved and I had no knowledge of what had happened. So I sat across from inspector Gil Hill, who, by the way, incidentally was just coming off the set of Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills cop one. He was Inspector Todd. And he’s just like that guy in real life. Let me tell you a very man of very few words, kind of intense. And he basically said,  your husband’s dead and we need you to go to the Morgue, identify his identifiable body parts. And I had a remarkable detective go with me, who prepped me on the way as best she could. And literally stood by my side, through the identification process. She did not have to do that. That was not part of her duties, but she did it. And she was there at the prelim exam. I did not go to the trial.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:03:07    I elected not to because nothing in that trial would change my life. I’d still be a widow. I would still have a house to sell. I’d still have the media haunting me and I just wanted nothing to do with it. So ultimately after two years of being really bothered by the press,  I did not know then why, but later I realized one of the reporters was writing a book and that’s why he wouldn’t let it go. But ultimately I left Michigan altogether, which I did not want to do. It was my home. I changed my name. And I started teaching rather than doing clinical work. I taught grad school for a number of years. And it helped me to get away to get some perspective. I ended up now, this is back in 1985, as you said, this was before the internet.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:03:54    This was before grief counseling. This was before medication. This was before anything. I did not know a soul that had been through what I’d been through. I had no one to talk to. I did not know where to turn. So I thought,  it’s up to me to fix me. There’s nobody. My family wasn’t there. They didn’t even live in the same state. It is part of my training. We never had one single class session, on a violent death and how to help somebody with that. So I had to improvise. So what I ended up doing is I fell back on this old model, which I still believe today is very beneficial. It’s called the biocycle social model and what it basically says, if you want to change your behavior, if you want to change your outlook, you have to look at all three domains, the biological, the psychological, and the sociological.  

Dr. Jan Canty   00:04:44    And if you can do all three, you’re going to be making some headway. So biologically, I got myself in shape. I started doing triathlons. I went to the gym religiously every morning at 6:30, with a group of other women who ended up doing the triathlons with me. We ended up doing five together. I didn’t break any records. I don’t want to give you that impression. My goal was to simply survive.  I wanted to not be the person who had a heart attack. The minute they jumped in the water and the person who crossed the finish line somewhere in between there, I would’ve been fine. And I was.  I did five one year and a couple the next. So, physically I wanted to get in shape and that was a priority to me. I also psychologically decided I needed to look at this differently.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:05:30    I needed to look at what was not changed in my life as a result of the PTSD. Number one. Number two, what could I use from having those symptoms to benefit me? And I thought I can become a better psychologist because I’ve been on both sides of it. This is not coming out of a textbook. I know what it’s like to awake in a cold sweat, but with nightmares, I know what it’s like to have flashbacks. I know what it’s like to be jumpy around people and extremely defensive and angry. And I’m not normally an angry person, but I go into the grocery store and I would be upset that loaves of bread did not come for one person. I mean, that’s irrational, but I’m like, what’s wrong with people that can’t have a loaf of bread for one person?  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:06:14    Why is it, implying that you’re part of a family or a couple, or I’d go to the Hallmark section. And there would not be one sympathy card that was suitable for homicide. And that upset me. It was like we were invisible. And then to make matters worse, you turn on the news or the better yet Hollywood stuff, and how it’s depicted there as entertainment was just infuriating to me. And I thought I’ve got to stop looking for reasons to be angry and start appreciating what hasn’t changed in my life, which spilled over into the third section, which is the sociological part of healing. And I just thought I’ve got to see things differently. So in one of my grad classes, I was teaching cross-cultural psychotherapy, which I totally enjoyed. Nobody else wanted to touch it with a 10-foot pole, but I really wanted the class.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:06:59    So they’re like, yay, go take it. So I did. And I thought, if I’m going to teach about other cultures, then I had better go experience other cultures. So I traveled the world and I went to very, very remote places. In various ways, sometimes I went as a volunteer. Sometimes I went as a photographer because I was into photography. I’d go as a photography group, but I always tried to stay off the beaten path. And by the way, I was teaching in graduate school at Fort Lewis, which is a military post it’s now called, it’s the joint base McChord Fort Lewis, but then it was just Fort Lewis.  I really got a perspective on what tragedy can be like. I mean, I had clean water. I had a roof over my head. I had rights as a woman.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:07:47    I had the legal system behind me. I had my health, I had my education and that really put things in perspective that I would not have otherwise appreciated. Had I not traveled extensively, And it isn’t, it entered up. I went to five different continents. The only thing that erupted in me was cancer. And COVID the two of them were kind of a whammy. So the double whammy, but eventually I want to make all seven of them. And, that was a big, big event in my life too. So it really puts me off, it isn’t so bad.  It could be much worse than it was. It could have been much worse. And so between the three of them and not those three parts, the bio-psycho-social as well as not talking about it for 30 years, I came out of it with a different view of me, of the world, because I realized it wasn’t my anger.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:08:37    And it wasn’t that the world had changed. I had changed and it wasn’t really any different than it had ever been. Another thing I did, which happened when hurricane Katrina hit, is I volunteered with the red cross and I went down to Shreveport, Louisiana. I was stationed there. And it’s the only time I can tell you that I have even a glimmer of an idea of what it’s like to be in the military. Because I’ve never personally been in the military, but I know I was there during the hurricane and you don’t sleep. You’re there. And when they say to be there and where to go and you don’t ask questions, you show up, you do what you can, you hope you’re making a difference and you don’t ask questions. You’re just there to save lives in that situation. And you’re eating it, breathing it, thinking about it.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:09:27    Non-stop there’s you lose your sense of dates and times because you’re not waking and sleeping at normal hours and you don’t have any contact with the outside world. It wasn’t like I had any clue what was going on in Texas or anything. It was like everything about it was the hurricane, the hurricane, a hurricane. And after my time there was up, I was sent home. I remember going to the airport and I felt like a fish out of water because I’m looking at these people that are well-groomed. First of all, I looked like a train wreck and their concerns were so trivial. It’s like, what do you mean? I can’t have my hot dog on the airplane? And I’m like, do you realize what happened just an hour from this airport? People are dying and you’re worried about your damn hot dog.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:10:13    And that’s what I felt like saying,  and we were instructed not to wear our red cross uniforms anywhere after, out of the area. And I’m like, am I supposed to be ashamed that I’m a red cross volunteer, but you’re not supposed to talk about it, mentioned it on the plane, nothing. And I had just felt like I had been on another planet by the time I got home. I, I didn’t feel like people could relate to what I’d seen to what I’d smelled to what I’d heard. I didn’t know what I had done that made any difference whatsoever in the big picture. And the only tangible thing I had left was a couple of kids’ drawings that they did for me, which incidentally was about the military. They showed their helicopters coming in and rescuing people off of rooftops. And that was the drawings that they gave me. And that’s my only tangible reminder of my time there, but I’ve never forgotten that experience. And again, just like with the homicide, I’ve tried to use it in ways to make me more empathetic and better and understanding people in different shoes than my own.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:11:22    When I first reached out to you,  I knew you weren’t a veteran. I knew a little bit of your backstory and I wanted to see if there were any parallels between what you experienced, and what I might call a traditional homicide versus a military death, like a combat death or something along those lines. And, I have to say when you were just talking there, there are so many things that you mentioned that I’ve experienced myself, or I know other people have experienced who have been in the military. Especially that last part where you’re talking about how you felt like you were almost on another planet and you felt like things, these little trivial things I should say are just so foreign to you. Like, why would someone care so much about a hot dog or that their Starbucks latte. Exactly all, those little things. I’ve talked to a lot of people who’ve had those same kinds of experiences.

Scott DeLuzio     00:12:43   I wanted to just kind of circle back to some of those experiences. And, when you realize, that you were almost like a fish out of water or on another planet, how did you deal with some of that stuff at once when you realize that the world isn’t exactly the same as it was before you had these experiences, at least not your world.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:13:10    I felt I fell back on knowing that I tried to remind myself of the events that took place while I was there. And remind myself of some of the specifics of where I did feel useful. For example, when I was in Shreveport, I found this woman who was crying and she was sitting on a bench. She looked exhausted and I asked her if I could help. And she said I don’t think so. She said I need to find my brother. I want to find my brother. And I don’t know where my phone is. And I said, well, you can use mine because Red Cross issues set phones for us. So I loaned her my phone and you’d think I’d given her a million dollars. It was a phone call, but that stuck with me. So I tried to remind myself of, you know, there were some things maybe I could have done more, but I did what I could with the resources I had.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:14:00    And I was in it with other people who were, had the same focus as I did. And that’s all I can ask of myself, I guess. I had to give up on expecting other people to get it particularly far removed from Louisiana. They saw it on the evening news, but it is not the same thing as being there. And I also took away some practical life lessons. For example, I live in an earthquake-prone area and one of the life lessons I took away from being in Shreveport during Hurricane Katrina was you always have a bunch of cash with you in your house or in your car. Because when you have extensive power outages, you have no cash machines. And if you have to buy, let’s say $20 worth of gas, and all you have is a $50 bill or a hundred dollars bill.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:14:48    That’s what you’re going to pay for $20 worth of gas because nobody’s going to give you change because they need their cash. You know, so it’s things like that, that I took away. And I remember I assembled this rather large, emergency evacuation kit at my house. It really made an impression on me. It’s simple things like you’ve got to have some form of identification because your apartment or house could be wiped away. And that’s where most of your identification is with. So how are you going to prove who you are? And if you can’t prove who you are, you’re not going to get it. You’re not going to be entitled to any benefits that might be extended through FEMA. All you need is something like a utility bill in your name or something that will do. So I started, you know, gathering all this stuff and it took me a solid three weeks of almost full time to really prioritize and learn what I could.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:15:33    And my husband’s looking at me scratching his head. Like, you know, it’s the end of the world coming here? I said, no, it’s just, I feel I can sleep better if I do this because it puts you on edge. It’s kind of like doing surveillance.  You have to anticipate things because you don’t know nobody’s in control and it’s a remote possibility, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And so I just thought, it’s not hurting anybody to do this. I’m going to do it and let it go. That’s all I can do is be prepared and let it go. And then, eventually stopped talking about it with other people, but I did save my Red Cross uniform and I’ve never worn it since, but it’s still there. It reminds me of that time that I spent down there. And, also I was one of the take away from that was how amazing I thought that people were, that were the victims of hurricane Katrina, how they organize themselves, how they concern themselves with the welfare of other people and shared. It was a real-life lesson. And I found that same to be true in some of the remote places I was in the world. So I tried to extract from those experiences, life lessons that could help me and, and, put my own situation in perspective.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:16:49    Yeah. So your situation,  I really do appreciate you sharing your background and your experiences, because I think at first I wasn’t sure how closely some of these things would parallel these combat deaths or military-related deaths. These things, I want to talk more about those parallels and some of the experiences that you’ve gone through and that you’ve seen through other people and how that might be similar to what the military is experiencing.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:17:35    Well, I think just the whole concept of homicide sets you apart from other people once you’ve experienced it and other people, most people have not. I mean, homicide is pretty rare, even though we’re on the increase, even though we’re up to about 20,000 murders a year in the United States, it’s still relatively rare. So that means you’re not going to be running into a lot of people who say, yeah, I had that happen to me too. And I would imagine the military is no different once you’re out of the military unless you live around a post, or, other kind of military installation, you’re not going to find a lot of people that can relate to your experience. And so it has a kind of isolating tendency to it. And I found that I don’t want to open up about it. I don’t want to talk about it with other people that don’t understand.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:18:27    It’s just too exhausting for one thing to bring it all up. Not, and I’m not saying that about you, I’m saying about in general, I’m not going to talk to the store clerk, you know, or my neighbor or something that most people who know me today don’t have any idea that this has happened to me because it’s exhausting. And I think it opens you up for vulnerability. And I do not want to be pitied. I do not. That would infuriate me. I don’t want that at all. So I don’t open up about it. And it’s like, why? I mean, it’s not relevant to a lot of people, you know, are you going to talk about Christmas? Oh yeah. And by the way, how do you even broach the topic? So I tend not to only on a very selective basis, only with a real reason to do what I get into it. And that’s one parallel that I would think veterans and active duty would have as well as like, why, why would you go there if you don’t have to, you have to have a reason to want to.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:19:23    Right. And I think so in my personal experience, my brother was killed in combat. And so when you talk about that, I understand what you’re talking about because it’s isolating, there’s not a ton of people out there who’ve experienced things the way I’ve experienced it, or that are, my family has experienced it. 

Dr. Jan Canty  And what other people bring to the situation when you do open up. And I’m sure it’s the same with the military as it isn’t civilian life, they bring Hollywood with them. Their knowledge of the military comes from milk from the movies and then knowledge of homicide. And so-called homicide survivors come from the movies, and that is so not accurate. And I don’t want those stereotypes being thrust on me. I find them infuriating, in fact. So unless I’m in a position, like say giving a lecture or doing a podcast interview or something where I’m in a position to change the minds of people and help them understand the myths, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna do it. So I think military and civilian people are both bothered by and both affected by the misrepresentations. I mean, the stereotypes about the military, you know, they all got PTSD and be careful, cause they’re going to kill you if you turn your back, you know, and if you’re a homicide survivor, you’re ready for a loony bin.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:20:47    I’m like, no, no. That’s not true at all. so that’s another parallel. I think, however, one major difference, if I can speak to it, is that with most and not all, but with most homicide survivors, it happens in isolation unless they’re in a mass casualty situation. So they’re pretty isolated from the get-go. They don’t have anybody around them, especially if, if the murder happened, let’s say in their own house. they don’t have anybody that w that can share that with them, that has been through it that understands them’s people, even within their own family, don’t get it.  It’s a very lonely existence. It’s better now. I mean, we have the internet and you can connect online through Facebook or other means it’s not as isolating, but I think having comrades of some kind is helpful, even though I understand as an officer or as an enlisted, you’re not open, they’re going to talk about it either, but you’ve probably know people that have been through it and at least, you know, at a distance, they know you and you know, them, even if you only not at one another.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:21:56    So that’s a huge difference between them., I think the other is that again, it’s a kind of getting back to the mill, to the Hollywood movies. And so on that, at least from my perspective, um, and I’m sure it’s with the military that people don’t die. Like they do in movies and movies, all that get one shot, boom, they’re dead. And that it is, and they’re out, it’s graphic, it’s ugly. And, you know, and I looked at my husband, he’d been buried for 10 days and he, and they, they said his head on the desk in front of me, it was ugly. It was awful. And I, you know, it’s so different from what they portray in movies. And yet you have a personal relationship with that person, although he did not look the same. I knew it was him. And those images stay with you.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:22:45    You don’t forget them. I don’t, I’m not saying that they dominate your life or are you, you know, you have to always have it in the forefront. But I think both soldiers and civilians who’ve been through this, understand how really grizzly it can be. It’s not like the movies. And that’s what upsets me about video games with, you know, you kill people, and boom, they’re gone. And it just, I worry about the impact of those kinds of portrayals on people coming up, that they have no idea of how really awful it is. It’s not like the movies at all. Right?  

Scott DeLuzio     00:23:22    Yeah. And especially the people you’ve mentioned the video games, but the people who grow up playing these video games or they’re in high school or whatever, they’re playing Call of Duty type games where they’re going in and killing people with the expectation that that’s what it is actually like. And then they go and experience it for real in real life. And it’s different. And they may think that they’re prepared and they’re ready for it because they’ve been playing these games all day and I don’t care how realistic the graphics are and how real things look. It’s different when you’re, on the other end of, a real gun. And you’re pulling a real trigger and actually seeing the other person being killed. It’s just not the same as what happens in a video game and those types of things.  I agree, I think that they may be hurting some of these people who are getting into the military or law enforcement or whatever the case may be and where they end up in that situation. And, they think they’re prepared for it, but they’re really not, 

Scott DeLuzio   00:24:31  I think another topic, to kind of touch on here, is the topic of grief. And I know that grief is different for everyone., but are there any differences with grief from a sudden loss, like a homicide or a combat death, different from something, like someone who dies from an illness, more of a long-term,  it’s coming kind of thing.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:24:59    Well, I think a huge difference is that with what you’re describing with somebody who has a lingering illness, is that the more technical name for that is anticipatory grief, where you’re anticipating the death and you can kind of get your last words in or last memory shared. And there’s a preparation process, and you kind of creep up on it gently and peacefully, which is very different from a situation where it’s abrupt. And I think another term for what you’re describing is disenfranchised grief. I think that’s what a lot of soldiers must go through. Disenfranchised grief is a word that we use that means that society fails to appreciate or understand or validate the depth of the grief because it doesn’t fit their model of grief. In other words, if somebody’s child dies, I don’t think society has any trouble understanding a lot of sorrow on the part of a parent who loses a child.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:25:58    But if you’re a soldier, one, you, this is what you’re trained to do. And two, you don’t even know the person who was killed beside you. So why should it matter that much? It’s not validated. That’s what disenfranchised grief means. And  I think that you see it in civilians too. For example, if you have an ex-spouse who dies and you’re grieving society may look at you like, well, why do you care? You’re divorced or he divorced you? Why should it matter? Well, you might have a child between the two of you and you might’ve had an amicable divorce and it does matter. So I think that’s a big difference. Also with medical people, I think they are much more inclined to come up and express condolences because it’s safer. It’s more familiar. And I’m so sorry to hear your uncle passed, you know?  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:26:44    And was there anything you could do? Let me know. Whereas with homicide and military deaths, I don’t think people are going to approach you. I think it’s more like, I don’t know what to say, so I’m not going to say anything at all, and I’m going to pretend like I don’t even see you. And so it isolates you even further because the lengths to which people will go either to get out of your way or to be kind of rude about it. It startles me at the end of sensitivity. For example, in my situation, many months later, my neighbor asked me to join them for a barbecue in their backyard. Because I hadn’t been out, I hadn’t been doing anything and they were nice neighbors. And I said, okay, I’d reluctantly agreed to it. I can kind of escape my notice that people knew me if I didn’t know them because my face had been on the news.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:27:32    And so this one guy had had a few drinks too many and he came up to me and I hear you, you’re the neighbor. Right. And I said, yeah. And he goes, yeah, I heard it was a home run. And I’m like, how dare you say that? You know, like, what right. Do you have to say that to me? I just feel like grabbing people by the lapels and just spitting on him. I was so angry. That’s like, what gives you that? Right. You know, and I think it’s just this with homicide and with military combat, I think people don’t have the same degree of comfort. And so it comes out weird. It comes out accusatory or through avoidance and it’s inappropriate a lot of the time. And, and people who’ve only experienced death from a natural death of a loved one through illness. I don’t think I get those kinds of responses.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:28:26    Yeah. I think the responses definitely are different. I know when my brother was killed, there were varying responses. Of course, we had, family and friends who reached out and they came out and supported us and everything like that. And that was great. And there they were, they were all welcoming and we’re glad that they were there for us. but some of the conversations got a little awkward, you know, when, especially because I was also in Afghanistan at the same time. And so some of the conversations turned to, well, did you, have you killed anybody? It’s just like, well why is that even relevant? Right. Where we’re talking about something completely different, who cares if I killed anybody? And That’s not, that’s not the point of this conversation right now. And it’s it, but just, just an awkward thing. And I think to your point, they didn’t know what to say. It’s an unexpected thing. It’s not something they’re familiar with. They probably never experienced anything like this before.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:29:32    You got to say, that’s all they got to say is,  I really can’t feel what it’s like to be in your shoes. And I wish I knew what to say, but my words fail me at this point. All I have to do is tell you I’m here, but I don’t get it. I wish I could help. I wish I could be more supportive to you. That’s all I got to say. They don’t need to get weird and, and make questions like, have you ever killed somebody? Yeah. That is just so wrong.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:29:57    Yeah, it is. It is. I think this kind of leads into my, the next thing I wanted to touch on was some of the, maybe do’s and don’ts of, interacting with some of these people. Who’ve, who’ve been, homicide survivors or have, have survived through, you know, family or friends of someone who’s died in a combat or a training accident or something along those lines. w what are some of the things that you do or don’t do with some of these people?  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:30:27    I think so I’ll talk first about the don’ts. I think one of the things you do not do is say, I know how you feel, unless you’ve been in combat unless you’ve had someone die, you don’t know how it feels. And so don’t, cause it amazes me how people will say, well, you know, I had a dog die. I know just how you feel. And I’m like, I’m sorry, it’s a little bit different. It doesn’t quite match up. So don’t say, I know how you feel. Another thing is to not get what I call bumper sticker remarks like, oh, I really expand to express my condolences. If you need anything, let me know. I’m like, that doesn’t mean anything. You hear it so many times it’s trite. It’s like a parrot saying it.  I think that it gets wearisome and, to say, call me if you need anything, puts the burden on the mourner to come up with it.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:31:14    You don’t know what you need. And you’re certainly, even if you had a list, you’re not going to probably say to them, okay, what I need right now is my oil change. Would you take care of that? You’re not going to do that. You know, I think that’s a mistake. A lot of people make them. Third one is, and this is more, I’m going to say this more soon after the death versus later, if it’s not been very long, if the person’s still in a state of shock, do not touch them. I did not want to be touched. I would go off like a rocket of somebody so much, just put a finger on me. I was so on edge. I think another thing that is, and another thing is not to try and pick their brain for details. It’s like, and in my case, it was in the news a lot.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:32:02    And I think people who read up on it take ownership of it. It’s like, they’re suddenly in the inner circle and they feel you’re special. And they can ask you detailed questions. And I’m like, you don’t have the right to ask me that stuff. You know, you’re not part of my inner circle. In fact, I don’t even talk about it a lot with my family, let alone somebody outside. And I would imagine if you had something in the news about, a military invasion of some kind or a particular battle that people follow it, and then they think they know you and they don’t, and they don’t have the right to cross that barrier., I think it’s also a mistake to try to get kids involved. You know, like you’re like say your children, if you won’t talk to them, get, come to your children, they’re off-limits.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:32:51    In my opinion, always, oh, there’s a press conference or a neighbor playing with your kids. They’re off-limits. They don’t try to get information directly through children that is so wrong.  I think so far as the things that you can do, I would strongly urge people. Let’s say if you are a military vet and you move into an area, not surrounded by other military, but I would imagine it would mean something to have, have somebody come over and say, you know, I’m welcoming you to the neighborhood. What can we do to make it more like, for example, our, our, we always have a street party on the 4th of July and set off fireworks. Would you prefer us not to do that? You know, just showing some kind of, I get it to the person, would be, I think, a welcoming kind of thing to do.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:33:41     I think that another thing is to rather than say, what can I do call me if you need me? I would think it would be better to say, this is what I would like to do for you. And to come up with something specific, like, I want to cut your lawn this summer, just to welcome you into the neighborhood. And you don’t need one more thing on your plate right now. You don’t owe me a thing for it. I just want to do it. And unless you tell me otherwise, I’m going to cut your grass. This summer. I had a friend whose husband, I was with her when she got the phone call that her husband committed suicide. And she was beside herself. And she was a very heavyset woman, not in shape by any stretch of the imagination. And she, within a week, was saying, I don’t know what to do about my lawn.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:34:24    I don’t know what to do about my lawn. And it’s going to look terrible. And I paid for her landscaping for that whole summer. And I know that if I had said to her, call me if you need something, she would’ve never said, oh, would you get my lawn cut for the summer? That would have never come up. But you would think I’d given her a million bucks. And all it was was a simple landscaping thing, but it meant the world to her. And I think people need to extend themselves that way, put themselves in your shoes and say, I know this person needs X, Y, and Z. What can I do to extend that to them rather than just say, call me if you need something. I think another thing that’s way underestimated. And I can’t emphasize this enough is just simple listening.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:35:06    I don’t think people need advice. I don’t think they need platitudes. And here I am giving advice, but I think people need silence. They needed to have your listening ears there rather than what I think you should do, or why don’t you try just to, just to listen without advice, without judgment, and not occasionally let them know. You’re, you’re dialed into what they’re saying, but if you, if you have that kind of a friend, you’re going to get a lot further along than if you don’t. I think people underestimate the importance of simple listening. There are no magic words you have to come up with, but you do have to be attentive and listen. And I think if again, people just have one or two people like that in their life, it can make a difference.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:35:52    Yeah, for sure. And one of the things I’d like to add onto the dos list, things to do, for, for people who have survived, the survivors of these, these types of, incidents., one of the things that happened when my brother was killed was everybody wanted to bring a meal over and they brought so many casseroles.

Scott DeLuzio     00:36:19    Exactly. So it was great and we loved it and, and, and the outpouring of support was, was great. And I’m not saying anything negative about that, but a way to maybe do that better would be to have someone organize it and say, okay, Monday, Joe is going to bring over lasagna, and Tuesday, someone’s going to bring over tacos. And so, find out if there are any dietary restrictions or things like that. So you’re not bringing over a cheesecake for dessert when you’ve got a whole family who’s lactose-intolerant or something. So just having that organized because, A few years ago, my wife, she was sick. She was in the hospital for a couple of weeks. And, someone actually did that in organizing a meal thing where each night there was somebody else who was bringing, bringing meals to the house and,  or even just a gift card for takeout from someplace.  

Scott DeLuzio    00:37:20    So that way we didn’t have to worry about making a meal that night, and it was such a small thing for someone to do, but it was such a huge relief to us to not have to worry about getting the groceries and preparing dinner and getting everything put together and all that kind of stuff. She wasn’t a hundred percent when she got back home and she wasn’t really up for cooking. And I had a job and it was hard for me to juggle all of those things. And it was, it was just a big relief. And stuff like that, it may seem like a small thing, but if one person could just organize that and say, okay, here’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:38:05    The other thing that that does is you’re sparing the person from having to leave home. I know when my husband was killed, I did not want to be out in public. I did not want to leave my house. And so anything I could do within the house, of course, for the internet, which crippled the style a little bit, but anything you can do within the house that could be beneficial is appreciated. And that’s why bringing food over is a great idea, especially if it’s coordinated, as you said. And then if you know the person well enough to have them sit with you if you eat, I, if you’re by yourself, I found that I wasn’t even hungry. I was down to about a hundred pounds. I mean, I didn’t even want to eat. It wasn’t relevant to me at all. I just had a sour stomach and headache, and it just went on for a long, long time.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:38:52    But I think that is important. And it shows that people are giving you some kind of forethought that they’re not just dropping it off and saying, well, job done. You know, I did my little piece. And the one other thing I would strongly recommend people do is understand that when the news first breaks and the person is reeling from the deaths and going through what they’re going through, that’s when support swells. But six months, eight months, a year later, there is nobody around and they’ve all gone back to their life. And it’s like, it never happened. Yeah. I find when going through a homicide experience, what you find is you’ll get a swell of support at the news break. You’ll get a swell of support at the trial. You’ll get a swell of support at the funeral. And it all goes away after that.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:39:43    And it’s like, it doesn’t even exist. And that’s about the time you’re coming out of shock and you’re exhausted and you look around and there’s nothing. There’s nobody. I remember I was trying to sell my house at that point. And there was nobody. I mean, it was just me in the house, an empty house, pretty much my, my family had gone back to Arizona because they couldn’t stay any longer than they did. And of course, my husband was gone because he was the one that was killed. I had no children. So, it was winter on top of it. So it was, a time where it would be sure, nice if somebody had just called and said, you know, I haven’t forgotten. I remember what it was like in July for you. And here it is January and how are you doing, but nobody called, nobody did.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:40:27    I think we tend to forget that. And so the way to do that is just put a reminder in your smartphone, you know, call George in July or something. Let them know. You’re still thinking about them and, and you haven’t forgotten. I have a friend whose son was killed at the Pulse nightclub and every July, I mean, every June, I contact him and on the date of that death I haven’t forgotten your son, haven’t forgotten your son. And he said I’m the only person that does it. And, it’s such a little thing, but it can, it lets you know, that the world hasn’t forgotten.  

Scott DeLuzio    00:41:01    That’s a big thing that the people haven’t forgotten. and I get that too. Every year there’s a, a handful of people who reach out on the anniversary or, you know, around that time frame, maybe not on the exact day, but give or take a few days, they reach out and just say, Hey, you know, just thinking about you, your family and you know, you guys are doing okay and all that kind of stuff and, and you’re right. The support does fade over time. I mean, that just, it was almost overwhelming, the amount of support we had in the beginning and you’re not in a  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:41:33    Position to make use of it, you’re in shock.  

Scott DeLuzio    00:41:35    Right? Exactly. But then it does fade over time and not to say that we don’t appreciate the support cause we always appreciate anybody who comes out and shows their support. But, it was overwhelming at first. And then a year later it trickled down to nothing. And then picked it up around the anniversary. We got some support then, and then faded away real quickly after that. And then the next year’s anniversary was a little bit less. So, and then a little less. And then after the lesson, you know, and, I’m very grateful. This is now over 11 years now since he’s been gone. I still do have people who reach out, and, it is a nice thing that they still do. But you’re right. It’s one of those things where it ebbs and flows. You get it.  It’s almost like drinking from a fire hose in the beginning where you’re getting way too much and you don’t know what to do with it all. And, it’s too much. And then you’re just getting little trickles down the road if you’re in there if anything at all. Right. 

Dr. Jan Canty     00:42:50    I had a story of a woman I had on my podcast that I thought would be relevant to you. And I wanted to briefly describe what happened. I touch upon many different kinds of homicide on my podcast. This one is on a familiar side, which is a form of homicide in which somebody within the family kills a family member. She was four. Her mother told her to go upstairs and wake her brother up. And she was excited because it was time to play Mario Super Mario. And so she went upstairs to wake her a little, slightly older brother took the pillow off his head and his throat had been slit by her mother. So her mother centered up there knowing that’s what she was going to see. And he’d been dead several hours. Anyway, she, well, of course, her mom was arrested. She had no father.  

Dr. Jan Canty   00:43:36    So she was an orphan basically and bounced around from foster home to group home. And just, she was a mess, as you can imagine, not enough intervention psychologically. She had some, but it wasn’t enough. Anyway, as she neared adolescence, she decided I had to do something to get out of this state of mind. I meant because she was very reactive and angry and lost and she decided, she said, I need weapons. I need to learn how to use weapons. And I need comradery and I need to be in physical shape. And then it hit her. I’m going to join the military. So she did. And she went to Afghanistan, she got honors for her service and she came out of it. And now she’s written a chapter in a book that’s coming out soon and you know, my hats off to her, she found her niche. And I raised that story only to drive home. The point is that PTSD is not a life sentence. It doesn’t mean you can’t use it and direct it and get over it in some way. There are various ways to do it. it sometimes happens before you even get in the military as is her case. But, you know, for her, the military was a godsend. I don’t know how she would have fared better than she did really. And, she was surrounded by people who she said were extremely supportive.  

Scott DeLuzio    00:44:59    I mean, that, that’s great to hear too, that, that the military could be that support for, for someone who clearly they, that person lost everything. They lost their siblings. They lost their mother in that case as well because, you know, and then, just bouncing around and feeling kind of lost and in the military is really great at that at getting that comradery  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:45:23    And that sense of belonging.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:45:25    Belonging. Exactly. Yeah.  and, you touched on another, interesting point too is that the PTSD from, someone who witnesses some of these traumatic events, whether it’s a combat death or, in this person’s case, seeing their, their brother laying there in bed and everything there, there’s certainly a traumatic aspect to all of this. What is it, you know, if someone has witnessed something like this, what are some of the signs to look out for in those people? So maybe for, from a loved one’s perspective,  looking out for them and making sure that the PTSD isn’t overwhelming on them and that they can get the help if it’s needed.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:46:19    I think one of the first things that comes to mind is to get to know them and their symptoms well enough to know what their triggers are. They’re all unique. They needn’t be obvious in my situation, it’s baseball bats. I want nothing, you know, I still to this day, and I’m talking almost 40 years later, if I walk into a restaurant in summer where they’ll have the baseball game on the TV’s and a restaurant, I’ll try to sit as weight, as far away from it as I can. I don’t want to hear it because inevitably, you’re going to hear a bay crack, or you’re going to hear a comment like crack of the bat, or that was a home run. And that just chills me to have to go back and, and, and think about that. It pulls me right back. and I used to love baseball before all that happened.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:47:06    I used to play baseball. so I think knowing their triggers and helping them know what to do, you can’t always avoid the triggers, like my restaurant situation or fireworks or whatever it might be, but do you have them prepare ahead of time for what your emergency toolkit is going to be? How are you going to handle it? Well, a real simple one is deep breathing. Believe it or not, it’s very helpful. It resets your blood pressure and so on and teaches them and helps them go along with some emergency kind of first aid. It would be helpful and help them with it, help them avoid the trigger in the first place if you possibly can, would be a huge one. And then secondly, if it can’t be avoided and it happens in some way, can you get them away from it?  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:47:51    And just again, sit with them, you don’t have to talk. You don’t have to say anything, but just get them out of the situation and let them regroup. And chances are they’ll. They’ll do. Okay I think,,  it’s a fine line. You don’t want to treat them like they’re a casualty, but on the other hand, you don’t want to be hardened about it either. And so you have to strike this balance and know what their triggers are. They may not even know what they are until they sit and actually give it some thought, because when you’re reacting, you’re not thinking you’re just reacting. It’s physiological. I think that another thing would be to discourage certain things that are not helpful, like substance abuse, and encourage them if they need to, to get professional care or this other thing that I’ve come across not too long ago, maybe you’ve heard of it.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:48:46    It’s canines for warriors. Have you heard of them? I’ve heard of them.  These dogs have come from kill shelters or surrendered by their owners. And so it’s a win-win for them to, you know, go through this training., I don’t know, but I’m a little bit biased. I love dogs. So maybe that’s my bias here coming through. But I think something like that is face-saving because it’s not quite psychotherapy. It’s not a medication, for all the world now you’re just out there walking your dog. I mean, it may be, it says service dog, you know, but there’s a lot of reasons people have service dogs, they can have them for epilepsy, for example. So people don’t jump to the conclusion, oh, you got that because you have PTSD.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:49:32    No, although they are finding that it helps with not just PTSD, but these dogs are also helping with suicidology with suicidal thinking, and depression, which I can totally get when I’m around my dogs, I mean, they make me happy and they’re very, very if I don’t feel well, they’re Excel attentive. I have a St Bernard’s and so they’re pretty big and they’ll put their heads on my bed and just stare at me if I don’t feel well and stay there and just glare at me, like, are you going to get out of bed yet? Are you going to get out of bed yet? But they don’t move. They don’t, they don’t do anything. I didn’t train them. That’s just how they are. You know, I just feel happy when I’m around them. So there’s this, I think another thing is when the mind is freaking out when you’re going to have flashbacks or be upset, or I think a basic rule of thumb is if your mind is upset, you exercise your body, you do something physical.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:50:25    So go running or take a walk with your dog. Or if all you can manage is dancing in your room, do that, but do something physical, something that moves large muscles, I think is a great way to drain off that tension and vice versa. If you’re exhausted, physically use your head. I mean, read, watch a good video, and, and get that balance. I think sometimes people are too much in their head if they have PTSD and they ruminate about it and they try to analyze it and they, what if, and blah, blah, blah. And, and sometimes you just gotta get out of your head and go switch gears and do something physical. And the last thing, I think that’s kind of a bigger project or a bigger, which is kind of like what you and I are doing is you find some way to make something good, come out of it, whether it’s a podcast or whether it’s a painting or whether it’s a book, volunteer, work,  make a law, you know, is there a way you can change a law?  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:51:24    That’s not right in your community or state? I think there’s nothing like advocacy. It’s not something you can do in the beginning, but I’m talking more long-term that helps you become accountable to yourself and to your quote mission and you help other people in the interim. So you’re in my mind, it’s like because I, you know, I have a book coming out and I have this podcast that it makes me feel like it’s not for nothing. It’s not wasted. It’s, at least making some good come out of it. And that gives me peace of mind, because if, if nothing good came out of it, then why did I get put through this? You know, that’s pretty bleak, but I want to make use of it for other people. And then it’s at least something salvageable from it.  

Scott DeLuzio   00:52:12    Yeah, for sure. And I’ve had that same experience where I’ve written a book and yeah. So, the book has to do with the experience of losing my brother and all that stuff. And, it feels good knowing that, not only is the book out there to help other people who have gone through some other kind of trauma or grief or, or things like that. But, it also serves to continue telling his story. You know he’s no longer around to tell his side of the story and forever, it’s there forever. It’s going out with me, it’s going to, with my kids and everyone else that I’m capable of telling the story to, it’ll outlive all of us and it’ll just continue on. And I think that’s a great thing to do. I, I want to go back to something that you mentioned about dogs and, you know, not necessarily, service dogs, but just dogs in general,  or pets, maybe in general, maybe that’s a better way to look at it.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:53:14    Because not everyone’s a dog person. we can’t all be perfect I guess, but I heard a story once of a guy who had firearms in his home and he was struggling with depression and he was starting to feel suicidal. And first off, if there’s a way to remove those from the home and get them out of there, that’s one step because, you know, that’s certainly not something you want to have around for a moment where you just can’t handle it anymore and things like that. But in this guy’s case, he ha, no place to move them to or anything like that. You didn’t have any, any people nearby that he could, he could hand them off to or anything. So what he did was he took the key to his gun safe and he put it around his dog’s collar.

Scott DeLuzio   00:54:13    And then, he said the only way that he was able to get access to his guns was he had to go through his dog first. And he said, he just loved that dog so damn much that there was no way he would be able to do anything to hurt himself after, after going through his dog. And, it may not be the most ideal circumstance and situation, but you know what, if it works, it works. It’s what’s the saying a dumb, but it works, it ain’t dumb, you know? I think, you know, pets can definitely have a tremendous impact on us and, and they, like you were saying, you know, when you’re sitting in bed and your, your dogs come up to you and they’re like, are you getting up?  

Scott DeLuzio   00:54:58    Or, you know, they do tend to sense things. When my wife was in the hospital, I mentioned that earlier, she had epileptic seizures.  She had never had it before, ever in her life. Our dog at the time she started to notice when my wife was having seizures and she would come up and like to nudge her when a seizure was about to start. It was before my wife even realized that there was going to be a seizure, but the dog would come up and start to nudge her. And she wasn’t trained for it or anything like that. It’s just, she has been around us all over our lives. And so she noticed these differences in the body chemistry, or I don’t know really what it was that she was noticing. She noticed it coming. And so she went in and nudged her and we started to realize that’s what she was doing and every single time, but my wife had a seizure, the dog was there and it was giving her a little nudge.

Dr. Jan Canty   00:55:50    So they know more than we give them credit for.  

Scott DeLuzio    00:55:54    They do. They, they may, they may look, look dumb on the outside, but they’re pretty smart.  

Dr. Jan Canty     00:56:00    Drooling beasts, but they’re really not that stupid really when you get down t it.  

Scott DeLuzio    00:56:05    Right. Well, is there anything else that you wanted to add today about,  whether it’s homicide or grief or PTSD or, or anything else that might be relevant? 

Dr. Jan Canty   00:56:16    There’s two points I wanted to raise about him. One is, and I’m not trying to find excuses for anybody to say, I can’t get better. That’s not my intention here, but I do want to mention that with military training, sometimes the very training that you go through tends to strengthen the PTSD response. Such as, for example, if you’re trading for combat, you know, you are supposed to be, excuse me, you’re supposed to be a light sleeper sleep with one eye open, stay alert, stay alive. And that’s what I, that’s what PTSD is like if you cannot sleep. You are very hyper. You have a lot of insomnia going on and you are always on edge. I think another similarity is that if you’re trained for combat, they’re not trying to train you to think empathetically about the enemy. You don’t want to think. Does that person over there have a mother, a sister, a child, they’re the enemy, and I’m going to take them out.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:57:10    And so it is with PTSD. It’s like, you’re not thinking about the impact of your behavior on other people, because it’s been so ingrained in you to suck it up and be strong. A third similarity is that, in military training, you’re taught to be, mission-focused, get on with it, your own personal ailments and, and needs. Aren’t as important as the big picture. And so if you have a headache, so what if you’ve got a stomach ache, big deal. And I think when you have PTSD, you’re so driven to like it, I’ve got to get this thing done the heck with my symptoms. I can’t succumb to that. I’ve got to get this thing done and you tend to neglect yourself because of it. So my point being that, you know, you can’t take the soldier out of the soldier once they’re discharged. It doesn’t mean they’re not soldiers anymore.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:57:56    And that training is still inherent in them. And that I believe makes it more difficult, more challenging. I’m not saying help like it’s hopeless, but I do think it’s a reason why PTSD is extra challenging. If you’ve experienced it as a soldier and why the treatment has to take those factors into account, you can’t treat it the same as you would PTSD from a civilian rape. For example, it’s not because you don’t go through training to be a rape victim. You don’t, it just happens to you. So they’re not identical. I think that’s often overlooked. The other thing I wanted to say is I had a couple of coats. If you’ll indulge me that I wanted to read to you about PTSD. One comes from Brigadier General Gary S. Patton. He said, one of our soldiers, specialist Probert, UNRRA took a gunshot wound to the torso.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:58:48    I was involved in medevacing him off the battlefield. And in a short period of time, he died before my eyes. That’s a memory that will stay with me. The rest of my life. He was only 25. The stress hits hardest in the middle of the night. I’ve lost 69 men over a year-long duty that wakes me up. I’ve had sleep interruptions from loud noises. Of course there’s no IEDs of rockets going off in my bedroom, but the brain has a funny way of remembering those things. Not only recreating the exact sound but also the smell of the battlefield and the metallic taste you get in your mouth. When you have that same incident on the battlefield, we need all our soldiers and leaders. That’s the key. I think we need all our soldiers and leaders to approach mental health. Like we do physical health, no one would ever question or hesitate to see a physician to take care of a broken limb or a gunshot wound or shrapnel.  

Dr. Jan Canty    00:59:45    We need to take that same approach towards mental health. I sought help from my depression, my anger, and grief. And I think I’m a better general for it. Second quote, General Carter Ham. He’s a four-star general commander. The first infantry division called the legendary big red one before assuming duties as director for global operations, that joint staff at the Pentagon, he said, we were in Mosul. We were in Mosul when a suicide bomber blew up a mess tent, 22 soldiers died that day. It was the 21st of December, 2004, the worst day of my life ever. I can not imagine how a day could be worse than that. To this day, I still ask myself, what could I have done differently? What could I have done as a commander responsible that would have perhaps saved the lives of those soldiers and civilians after I felt like I was doing after I felt what I was doing was no longer important because I had soldiers who were killed in a mission that had not been accomplished.  

Dr. Jan Canty    01:00:46    It took an amazing supportive wife. And in my case, a great chaplain to help me work my way through it. He and his wife drove from Washington state to the District of Columbia, right after he returned from combat. And he went on to say, I probably said three words to her, the whole way across the country. And it was, do you want to stop to get something to eat? I mean, no discussion, no sharing of what happened, where my head was at. If you ask for help, others think you think of you as weak. That’s so wrong intellectually. We all know it’s wrong, but it’s still there. I’ve learned to cope with the memories. It was a tough road. I was withdrawn. I wanted to still be back there. And what I was doing, I felt was not important. I think frankly, I’m a better general because I got some help. So my point being, if generals can do it, everybody can do it. I mean, I wish that the culture would change and make it so you’re not penalized for getting help, but I want to dispel the myth that no one in senior positions has a, has taken a blind eye to this. That’s not true. There are people that have been through it and get it that there are people that have been through it and will, are willing to get help.  

Scott DeLuzio     01:01:59    And I think that makes some of the best leaders are the ones who lead by example and do the things that maybe are not popular, not, not the type of thing that that you want to do,  

Dr. Jan Canty    01:02:14    Because if you dealt with the leaving, what’s the, is it a better option to have raw with PTs walking around with guns, right? Or do you want people that are treated and are getting a grip on it, walking around, you know, and it’s the same kind of culture by the way, in the medical community, if you have surgeons and so on that have PTSD or depression, you’re not supposed to go for treatment and you can, you can, you can have some come up. And if you get, if it’s got out that you went for treatment, for those things, those who want to shrapnel, I mean, who wants a scalpel in a surgeon’s hand knowing they have PTSD? Well, we don’t want you on our hospital staff. And I’m like, that’s so ass-backward. They ought to be congratulated for getting help and getting on, getting on top.  

Scott DeLuzio     01:02:58    Right? Exactly. Because you become a better version of yourself by being able to grow from the experiences. And, and, and sometimes you need help doing that. And it’s the same thing with just about any other thing. If that same surgeon broke their arm, riding a bicycle and they went to go see another doctor to get their arm fixed and put it in a cast. No, one’s going to think twice about that and say, oh my gosh, I can’t believe you would do that.  

Dr. Jan Canty    01:03:25    Here’s the sad thing about PTSD is so much of it is looked at as a psychological problem when in fact so much of it is neurological and biochemical and neural hormonal. If you really look at it in detail, which I’m not going to get into, it bores everybody. I know, but it is, you know, you get into things about the Migdal on cortisol and you know, kind of boring things like that, but it is not weak-willed or, or poor personality. It’s physical. It’s not a whole lot different from diabetes when you get down to it, many medical conditions affect behavior, and this is no different, but we don’t look at it that way, which is so sad because help is available.  

Scott DeLuzio     01:04:07    Yeah. And there is lots of help available. And for the people who would like to seek help, there, there are great people over at the VA, but if you don’t want to, or can’t go to the VA for whatever reason, there’s people all over the place who are offering the type of treatment and therapies and counseling and everything else that, that you could possibly need, to overcome some of these things. And, you know, it would be silly not to try some of that. Right. And if one thing doesn’t work, guess what? There’s probably something else there’s, just keep trying and keep trying it  

Dr. Jan Canty     01:04:43    Because you, cause you know what doesn’t work and that’s what you’re already doing. So what have you got to lose?  

Scott DeLuzio     01:04:49    Right, exactly. If what you’re doing right now is obviously putting you in a bad situation, what does it hurt to try something else? The best-case scenario is you walk out with something that works worst-case scenario. You’re still in the same position that you’re in now. And you’re better off because you know, that thing didn’t work. So now you can scratch that one off the list and go try something else.  

Dr. Jan Canty     01:05:14    That’s right. Yeah. And that’s another parallel with physical health is that if you go to see a doctor that you don’t particularly like, and you don’t feel they’ve benefited you from your diabetes or your high blood pressure, whatever the reason is you want, you don’t just say, well, I tried physical help and that I’ve given up on doctors altogether because I had this one that wasn’t any good. You’re more likely to say, well, I’m going to get another doctor. I’m going to try something different. And that’s the same with some psychology: you don’t give up on the whole thing. Just maybe you got a bad apple. It’s possible, they’re out there.  

Scott DeLuzio     01:05:46    Right?  

Dr. Jan Canty    01:05:46    Exactly. I know a psychologist. I wouldn’t send my dog, But, no names,  

Scott DeLuzio   01:05:54    No, definitely no names, but there’s definitely those situations where you just get the wrong, wrong person doesn’t mean that the treatments aren’t going to work for you, it just means that that person maybe they’re experienced in that particular form of therapy or, they don’t understand, the combat-related issues.  

Dr. Jan Canty   01:06:16    I think if they get a trauma-informed therapist, who’s familiar with combat-related PTSD, who’s experienced, who’s formally trained. They have a much better chance of finding somebody who’s going to be able to meet their needs. Exactly.  

Scott DeLuzio     01:06:31    Yeah. I couldn’t agree more. Well, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today, and going through all of this, I’d love to give you the opportunity to let people know where they can go to get in touch with you and find out more about what you do and everything like that.  

Dr. Jan Canty     01:06:49    I’ve kept it real simple. I just have one thing. I don’t do all the little Twitters and all that. I don’t have time. So I keep it real simple. It’s just my website. So I know that’s kind of old school, but if they just go to www Jan Canty, C a N T Y P H, everything is there, or they’re going to find material on the podcast. And so far, if I can say one thing, it’s a book that I have hopefully coming out in spring, it’s not a hundred percent done, but it’s getting darn close. It’s called coping with the violent death of your loved one. And it’s going to be not just about homicide, but suicide. It’s going to be directed at the survivors. You know, it takes you through the death notification, the funeral planning the investigation,  on, down through trial probation and parole hearings, and all that. So it’s, and I’ve written the book in conjunction with about 12 other experts. I’ve called upon them, networking-wise, to contribute their benefit to it. And, hopefully, it’ll make some people give them a roadmap as to what they can do in those situations.  

Scott DeLuzio   01:07:59    That’s a great resource to have. And I’ll definitely add that to the show notes for this episode. Once the book comes out, I’ll be sure to keep me updated on that and let me know when that comes out and I’ll update the show notes, but, for everyone else, the website that she mentioned earlier, we’ll be also in the show notes. So you can check that out there and, and that way you can, you can find, find out more, about Jan and what she does, and, and probably, find out about the book when it comes out as well. you know, if you, if you post that on your website as well, I’m sure that people will be able to find it all there. So, again, thank you very much for joining us. I appreciate your time and for coming on and sharing your story. Thank you for having me and thank you for your service. Thank you. Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website, We’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube at Drive On Podcast. 

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