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Depression and Online Therapy Sessions

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The internet has revolutionized the processes across the sectors, making things easier and faster. The delivery of services is no exception. Now people prefer even consulting a doctor online and seek his advice in case of a health problem. Consultancy apart, should a patient also go for online therapy sessions?

Why bother yourself by pushing to a therapist’s clinic which may further give you anxiety attacks? Reaching out a therapist is much easier online. There is evidence that online therapies have helped patients in treating many diseases. It not just makes the clinic easily accessible from a long distance, or help avoid the long queues, but also rules out the fear of stigma involving certain illnesses.

Reaching out to the best specialist, online therapies are very useful. According to an evidence-based review in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has significantly helped people who have been diagnosed with depression.

Going online with CBT

A recent study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders says that the internet-based treatment is at par with the in person treatment people have been undergoing over the years. The University of Zurich in Switzerland and the University of Leipzig in Germany believe that in the long-term, online psychotherapy could be even more effective.

As part of the study, the researchers selected 62 patients suffering from depression for receiving CBT over an eight-week trial period. Exactly half of the participants were given a face-to-face therapy along with lesser number of assignments as compared to online assisted therapy. The latter participants received a regular feedback from a therapist without any video assisted interaction.

The study outcome showed not much differences between the two groups. For face-to-face therapy patients 50 percent were not diagnosed with depression anymore as compared to 53 percent among the online patients. Even after three months, the condition of the depressed patients treated online continued to improve. On the contrary, patients with face-to-face therapy worsened after discontinuing the treatment sessions.

How can online CBT benefit

Dr. David Gratzer, attending psychiatrist, and Faiza Khalid-Khan, social worker and director of Mental Health, The Scarborough Hospital, Toronto strongly believe in internet assisted treatment. Dr. Gratzer says, “In the age of Google, this psychological intervention is empowering, clinically efficient and consistent with the way that, increasingly, patients interact with health care.”

“There is as much evidence for cognitive behavioral therapy as there is for medications to treat mild and moderate depression, as well as evidence that they have a synergistic effect,” says Dr. Gratzer. “In other words, for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians struggling with depression, Internet-assisted cognitive behavioral therapy offers a cost-effective and empowering way of accessing an important treatment.”

For patients who are shy and fear the stigma of suffering from mental illness, internet based therapy is a boon. Such patients may be comfortable in speaking to a virtual therapist than an in person therapist. Moreover, the online therapy saves a lot of time and ensures patients’ convenience.

However, the trials do not recommend the online therapy for the patients suffering from severe depression. The researchers believe that the internet delivered cognitive behavioral therapy can contribute largely in patient empowerment and increased clinical efficiency.

The study also showed shortcomings like low adherence by patients and lack of home access to internet. Some were unable to have an interpersonal touch and thus lacked in creating conversations that may have encouraged the patients to participate.

Because internet-delivered CBT has shown long-term benefits and high success ratio to patients suffering from depression, experimenting it online can be effective.

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Virgin Mobile Phones: Mobile Phones With Lecherous Looks Are Proving Their Worth on Virgin Network

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Virgin is one of the best mobile network service provider in the country. It is offering its services since 10+ years. Nowadays, there are plenty of mobile manufacturing companies like Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, HTC, Apple, and Blackberry, which are launching smart phones. However, there are only few mobile phone manufacturers which gives importance to the looks, and features of their mobiles. Nokia, Blackberry, Sony Ericsson, and Samsung are some of the mobile manufacturing company, which believes in producing smart phones with tempting looks, and features.

With lecherous looks, and tantalizing features, various new phones are proving their worth on Virgin network. Virgin phones always provide satisfactory services to its customers, and it always introduces many scintillating offers for them. Mobile of all leading mobile manufacturing brands are available on Virgin network. Some of the latest mobiles which are being provided on virgin network are HTC Wildfire, Blackberry 8520 Curve, Nokia 6700 Slide, Nokia E72, and Samsung Tocco Ultra Edition. People can easily select or get their favourite mobile phone on Virgin’s contract plan, pay as you go plan, and moreover if the customer has already purchased a SIM free phone he/she can also get the SIM of Virgin network from various attractive SIM only Deals.

Virgin phones can be bought on contract through various cheap contract deals which are being provided in huge quantity. Moreover, customer might also get their favorite mobile with many titillating offers like they can get certain free minutes, free texts, free connection, free unlimited internet, certain cash back, certain free gifts which could be anything, and they might also get the phone for free.

Virgin Phones can be bought through numerous mobile deals. These deals are being provided on various online portals for 24 x 7.

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Useful Tips That You Can Employ to Earn a Degree Online

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There are people who are caught between the idea of obtaining degree or not. Are you one of them? Possibly, you have started it already and are thinking of finishing that particular degree. Either way, here are three main reasons why you must consider earning a degree. And if it is so, would you like to earn a degree online?

– To advance the education

Yes, college graduates can be employed after their graduation, enjoy better career, are more likely to stay in high level company positions and obtain higher salary and gain greater promotion outlooks due to their superior education level. Thus, when you need to obtain associate or master’s degree, considering an online degree must be considered.

– To do a good turn for the community

A better education work force can also make a stronger democracy.

– To earn an online degree while working

Earn a degree online while you are working. Yes, it is highly possible. Surely, you do not just want to quit your job just because you want to study. This is the best thing about earning a degree online. You get to hit two birds with one stone – you maintain your work and you earn from it and at the same time, you are also starting earning a degree online.

Perhaps, becoming a triumphant web developer in the near future is one of your dreams. Or, do you ever dream of having your very own web development company which will be able to create large income that you can realize during your retirement? Maybe yes. But before you venture in these endeavors, this is the best time to ask the most essential question of all, and that is – how will you be able to earn a degree through the internet?

Here are some tips which you can ponder on.

– Begin with a survey about the field of study you want to embark on

Essentially, it is very important to obtain a good quality of education through enrollment at accredited online universities and colleges. As a student, you have to have a certified course for you to accomplish your goals and realize your dreams. Thus, begin conducting a survey among schools which offer the course that you want. This information may be acquired over the internet. It can be obtained for free or you can feel free to buy university and college directories in certain bookstores.

– Second, obtain an overview of significant scripting languages. Some scripting languages which are required to be learned within an online web development learning. Thus, every university and college has its own modules for enrollees who have the fundamentals of several rack up languages such as:

– fundamental HTML language

– common scripting language that include: JavaScript, CSS and; Action script.

– The personal time management is essential in order to uphold balance between study and work time. On top of that, an effective time management is able to improve productivity since you can provide more time on preparing for your study prior to the start of your online course. Be sure that you are also able to find out the computer programming basics with ordinary scripting languages.

Preparation allows the students to expand an appropriate study habit in order to conquer the difficulties of studying the advanced lessons. With it, you will find out how to work on the framework of server side that use matters such as: JSP, Perl, PHP, .NET, and; Python.

It is basically about management information on database either you are within an external system or on web servers.

– Be able to think ingeniously

To be a web developer, you also need to give emphasis to web designing which concentrates on the outlook of a certain website. You also need to remember that well-designed websites are able to catch the attention of a lot of visitors and augment the integrity of that particular website.

There are still a lot of tips that you can find from forums and other links. These will guide you to select the best online institution where you can earn a degree online.

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Blackberry Phones – What is Blackberry RAD

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Blackberry RAD (Rapid Application Deployment) is a method of connecting to a web service and making use of the facilities on offer. If all you want is a user to visit your website then RAD and all of the facilities it offers might not be for you; there are simpler means of achieving this. Think of RAD as the means by which you can interface your Blackberry smart phones’ run time environment (operating system) with back-end web services – thus making the application available to the phone user.

So how does this all work? Well you are going to need an internet based web service for the Blackberry smart phone to communicate with. This will have been created using Web Services for Java (from Sun Micro systems) or Web Services for .NET (from Microsoft). Once you have created the web service, your Blackberry needs a means to communicate with the service and exchange the information to make the application actually work.

This is where the RAD run time environment, called the “BlackBerry® Mobile Data System (BlackBerry® MDS) Run time”, comes into play. This is installed onto the smart phone either locally by the user, OTA (Over The Air) or by an enterprise administrator. Once you have this installed on the Blackberry, you can then run the application developed for the smart phone, called a Blackberry MDS Application to complete the loop and start communicating with your Web Service.

You would have any number of Blackberry MDS Applications, depending on the Web Services you have designed and want to exchange information with. These applications would have been created using either the standalone BlackBerry MDS Studio tool or the BlackBerry Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio. Both of these tools offer advanced GUI (Graphical User Interfaces) allowing the swift and efficient design of your application, to give the user the best possible result.

Blackberry RAD (Rapid Application Deployment) gives the developer the best of both worlds – it is simple and therefore quick to learn, yet also powerful to give the means to produce effective applications. Mix in the ability to communicate with both web services developed under Web Services for Java and Web Services for .NET and you have true flexibility.

Blackberry addicts become acquainted with the new concept quickly and enjoy the added versatility provided by using RAD to promote better communication both for commercial and private use, reaching faster and more targeted communication levels and producing better productivity, which turns higher and faster profits with prolific use.

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What Do You Know About Belize?

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Today Norm Goldman, Editor sketchandtravel.comand bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as a guest Joshua Berman,co-author of Moon Handbooks Belize. Joshua is an expert on traveling in Belize, and recently chose this tiny Central American country for his own honeymoon; he has also lived in and written extensively about Nicaragua and Honduras.

Welcome to Sketchandtravel.com and Bookpleasures.com Joshua and thanks for accepting our invitation to be interviewed.

NORM:

Please tell our readers something about yourself and your expertise pertaining to Belize.

Joshua:

I have been living, working, teaching, and traveling in Central America since the U.S. Peace Corps sent me to Nicaragua in 1998. I have been returning to the region ever since to write guidebooks, lead service trips, and visit friends and adopted families. Last year, I was asked by Avalon Travel Publishing to take over Chicki Mallan’s Moon Handbooks Belize, which, when it first appeared 15 years ago, was the first and most acclaimed guidebook to the country. I gladly accepted and proceeded to research and write the sixth edition, which was released in early 2005.

NORM:

Where is Belize?

Joshua:

Belize is tucked into the northeast corner of Central America, bordering Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to the north, Guatemala’s Petén wilderness to the west, and the Caribbean Ocean to the east. Culturally however, Belize and its hundreds of cayes (islands, pronounced keys ) is more Caribbean than Latin. English is spoken everywhere (along with seven other languages). The diversity is astounding, especially considering there are only 260,000 people in the entire country.

NORM:

Would you consider Belize a good choice for a romantic getaway or wedding and honeymoon destination? Why?

Joshua:

Absolutely. Belize’s tourism board actively markets the country as a lovers’ destination, and there is no shortage of special honeymoon and romantic packages from which to choose:

They can rent their very own waterfall for the day at Hidden Valley Inn.

Couples can get Mood Mud Massages at Maruba Resort Jungle Spa.

They can rappel into a vertical cave shaft together, at the bottom of which they’ll find a flower strewn bed next to a subterranean spring at Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch. The list goes on and on.

Belize’s size (smaller than Massachusetts), easy access (only a two-hour flight from Miami or Houston), and astonishing selection of small, intimate resorts and lodges seal the deal. In order to solidify my endorsement of Belize as a romantic destination, I even took my own bride here on our honeymoon (ah, the work never stops)

NORM:

When is the best time to visit Belize from the point of view of weather, costs, crowds, and the availability of flights from the USA, Canada and Europe and Australia, etc?

Joshua:

Some resorts distinguish holiday season from the normal high season, with even higher prices and lower availability around Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter be sure to make reservations during these periods. High season (re: more tourists and hiked prices) is generally mid-December through April; this is also the dry season during most years, although December, January, and even February can play to host to cool fronts that either blow right through or sit around for days.

Your best bet-be prepared, both with clothing and attitude! A week of stormy weather may ruin a vacation planned solely around snorkelling, but it could also provide the perfect setting for exploring the rainforests or enjoying a hot tub and fireplace in the Mountain Pine Ridge.

June, July, and August technically fall in the rainy season, and travelers during this time are rewarded with significantly discounted prices at most accommodations rain during these months may mean just a quick shower each afternoon, or it may go on for days. August is the big month for European backpackers and travelers, while December and February are dominated by North Americans. Some tourism businesses shut down completely during the months of September and October, the peak of hurricane season.

NORM:

Could you give our readers an idea of the costs involved if travel originates from the USA, Canada and Europe and Australia?

Joshua:

Conventional traveler wisdom calls Belize the cheapest Caribbean vacation spot and one of the most expensive Central American. There are plenty of mid-range and upscale accommodations throughout the country, running from US$25 to hundreds of dollars per night. Exact hotel rates are an elusive thing in Belize; seasonal fluctuations are compounded by various taxes and service charges, sometimes by as much as 25 percent additional. Always make sure the rate you are quoted is actually the same amount you will be asked to pay. And, of course, great deals are abundant in the low season (May through November), when room rates plummet across the board.

For food, budget travelers can get by on less than US$20 per day, but you’re on vacation, right? Entrées run from US$5 to US$25, depending on where you are; at the trendiest restaurants in San Pedro, a fancy dinner can cost up to US$75 per person. A few resorts include meal prices in their nightly rates, which can be a good deal.

Don’t forget to budget an extra US$40-80 per person per day for activities like scuba diving, sailing trips, and guided tours of Belize’s rainforests, ruins, and fascinating cave systems. Experienced, independent travelers can get around for less, but transport can be a hassle.

US$10 per person per night is the bottom line for budget lodging, and it’ll get you anything from a cramped, stuffy concrete box in most towns to a generous wooden cabin at the Trek Stop (in Cayo) and other backpacker hotspots.

NORM:

If you had to choose 5 unequalled venues in Belize for a romantic getaway, honeymoon or wedding destination, what would they be and why?

Joshua:

First of all, remember that selecting a place to stay has a lot to do with where you want to be and what activities you would like to do during your stay: beach or rainforest? Diving or hiking? Reef or ruins? Do you want to get pampered with massages or get sweaty and muddy with your loved one on a jungle trek? Get an idea of what kind of trip you and your honey are looking for, then dive in and book it. Following are only a few of Belize’s upscale romantic accommodations that stick out in my mind for quality and intimacy. For more on Belize’s ample budget options, flip through a copy of my book, Moon Handbooks Belize.

Starting on swanky Ambergris Caye, just inshore from Belize’s famous barrier reef and three miles north of San Pedro village, you will find Capricorn Resort, offering intimate beachfront seclusion in one of three bright and tasteful cabanas. Capricorn’s restaurant is one of the best (considered the best by many) on the island.

Situated on 7,200 acres of private property in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, Hidden Valley Inn is a quiet paradise for hikers and birders who will have a blast exploring the resort’s 90-plus miles of walking trails and old logging roads and then cozying up in front of their cottage’s fireplace, listening to the birdsong outside (especially nice during the cool, misty, rainy season). The property encompasses lush broadleaf forest and pine tree habitat. The two diverse ecosystems are divided by a geological fault line, which marks the edge of a towering 1,000-foot escarpment. Numerous watercourses spring from the mountain and then cascade down the steep slopes, often into deep, inviting pools; Hidden Valley’s trail system runs through it all.

On Placencia Peninsula, Kitty’s Place is one of the best and most unpretentious resorts on this long strip of beach resorts call it “low-key luxury,” and check your shoes at the front desk. Be sure to schedule a day trip or overnight on Kitty’s private isle, French Louis Caye, 12 miles offshore with great snorkelling and upscale accommodations.

Two of Belize’s most romantic, beautiful, and expensive options are Francis Ford Coppola’s gorgeous pair of resorts: Turtle Inn and Blancaneaux Lodge, located on the Placencia Peninsula and Mountain Pine Ridge, respectively, and offering a number of collective packages. Both places feature breathtaking architecture and artwork from all over the world, and top-notch service and facilities.

Located about an hour north of Belize City, Maruba Resort Jungle Spa pampers the body and soul, as evidenced by its acclaimed spa treatments and unique focal points spread around the grounds: A tiny, glass-decorated chapel; a palapa-covered stone chess table; two pools that seem to spring from the jungle complete with waterfalls. The rooms are spread out for privacy and are addressed by name Moon, Fertility, and Bondage, to name a few. All boast an eclectic neo-primitive motif carved masks, mosaic tile floors, standing candles, cement fountains, tiled tubs, screened shuttered windows and fresh flowers on the massive feather beds and in the bathrooms.

NORM:

What should people know about celebrating a wedding in Belize from the point of view of requirements, experience of the various hotels, etc.

Joshua:

Belize is gaining quite the reputation as the perfect place to tie the knot. A growing number of resorts cater to weddings of all sizes, some quite creatively (such as ceremonies underwater or atop Maya pyramids). If eloping, you must be in Belize three business days before submitting your marriage application to the Registrar General’s Office (tel. 501/227-7377, not open on weekends or local holidays). You get the paperwork back the following business day for your ceremony. If you have been divorced or widowed, bring a photocopy of the death certificate or divorce decree. The Government of Belize charges US$100 for the license and you’ll need a birth certificate or passport.

NORM:

How far in advance should a couple prepare themselves for their honeymoon, romantic getaway or wedding in Belize?

Joshua:

Honeymoons and getaways are easy and do not need much advance time when booking, except around the holidays and at the more popular resorts. If you are planning a wedding during the high season that will require numerous rooms for guests, book a year in advance if possible. Otherwise, a few months are usually sufficient.

NORM:

What resources are available on the Internet pertaining to weddings and honeymoon vacations in Belize?

Joshua:

Several wedding specialists can facilitate paperwork, ministers, flowers, book hotels, celebrations, etc. including Katie Valk for anywhere in the country, Iraida Gonzales on San Pedro, and Lee Nyhus in Placencia.

NORM:

Is there anything else you wish to tell our readers that we have not covered?

Joshua:

Yes, keep an eye on my WEBSITE for new links and developments regarding romance in Belize and beyond; I have the most popular Belize forums and news posted on my links page. Also, MY PUBLISHER’S SITE will soon feature sample itineraries and other excerpts from my book, to make planning your Belize trip even easier. Lastly, remember the words of Kurt Vonnegut’s prophet, Bokon: Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.

Happy trails, everyone, Joshua

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Digital Photography Course – 6 Top Reasons to Opt For Digital Photography

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Today, more people are getting hooked over Digital photography. Since the birth of digital photography, it has been easier and more convenient for people to capture the best photos they desire. This indeed has become the wave of today and in the near future. But what if you’re still using the old mode of taking photos- the film photography? Well, think again.

For those few people who are still using film photography, here are some good reasons why you should opt for digital photography:

1. Generally, one of the most excellent features of choosing digital photography is that its convenience. Aside from the fact that digital cameras are easy to use since they are user friendly, these cameras are also portable and you can just safely place it in your pocket anywhere you go.

2. With digital camera, you can save your time and effort. Digital cameras provide instant feedback once you take photos. It has a review button to let you view all the photos so you’ll be able to choose the best one. At the same time, it has also a delete button for those photos you don’t like to keep. In short, you can keep on trying until you get the right photo. Now isn’t that great?

3. The next good thing about it is its capacity to have your photos printed immediately. Actually, you can it is much easier if you have a digital printer. You can just simply connect your digital camera to the printer and press the button to print. On the contrary, film cameras takes time before you get your photos developed. You also have to go back to the photo shop to get your pictures.

4. Another great thing you can get from digital photography is the capacity to modify or edit your photos anytime. Since the images are in digital files, it is much easier now to edit them. You can simply open the images in any photo editing software supported by the file. With the photo editing software, you can alter or adjust the color of your photos. You can also crop the photo and design your own photo. All of these in one photo editing package. It’s more than what you can get from film cameras.

5. If you want to put up a small business, then this would be of great help. Let your creativity works. Digital photos cannot just be simple photos. Now, you can turn them into T-shirts, mugs, invitations, greeting cards, calendars and a lot more. This is for the fact that digital photos can be printed anywhere and in anyway. Just make use of the right photo paper, and surely, you can make lots of money from it.

6. Lastly, it has the ability to share the photos you have you’re your love ones and relatives. You can simply give a copy of the precious moments to friends and relatives everywhere. Just attach the soft copy of the photo to your email and send. That easy. But with film camera, you will spend money just on scanning the photos, to be able to send them online. Of course that’s an extra work for a digital photographer.

Apparently, this has really paved way for making photography convenient and easier at the same time achieving high quality photos. It just shows that there’s no other time to opt for it than now.

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Is There a Good Panic Attack Drug?

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A panic attack drug or any type of panic attack medication can be useful, but you need to understand just what they do and how they work. If you are hoping for a drug to stop a panic attack once it starts, you are out of luck. Medications simply do not act that fast.

A typical panic attack comers out of the blue and peaks in around ten minutes. Sometimes there are some symptoms that may persist for quite a while, especially the fear of another attack. So a medication might be helpful in reducing the lingering after effects but once an anxiety panic attack starts, a medication won’t help. The time is too short.

Several classes of panic and anxiety attack medication exist in both prescription and natural herbal supplement forms. Since very few alternative or herbal medicines are ever put through the Federal Drug Administration testing programs, they are classed as dietary or food supplements. Some people find herbal anti-anxiety, calming and nerve tonic supplements work well for them. If you happen to be one of these, count yourself very lucky.

The most commonly prescribed medications fall into two classes. First, the benzodiazepines which are tranquilizers – a common one is aprolazam (better known as Xanax). These act to reduce your day-to-day anxiety levels which hopefully reduces the incidence or severity of any anxiety or panic attack. The problem is that these drugs tend to not only make the world at least a little fuzzy but they are linked to dependence and addiction. As such they make a poor long-term solution. Getting hooked on a drug is probably not the outcome you want.

The most commonly used panic attack drug comes from the anti-depressant class called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). Once thought to have relatively few long-term side effects, more experience with this class of drug has revealed sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction and weight gain as some of the more disturbing longer term side effects. There are also a variety of early onset side effects including agitation, nausea, diarrhea and headaches though these will normally cease in 2 to 3 weeks. And they do not work for everyone either. in that case, doctors will often try one of the benzodiazepines.

As you can see there is no magic take-me pill that will eliminate an anxiety panic disorder. Even with the use of medication, additional forms of treatment are needed. The most successful psychological treatment methods are behavioral and cognitive techniques. Basically these involve learning to modify your behaviors and thoughts to rapidly eliminate an attack or reduce the severity significantly. Since some of the most negative effects of a panic disorder are caused by the sense of fear and helplessness it makes people feel, these kinds of action steps can make a huge difference. Since much of this is a matter of learning, training and practice, thousands have used these type of behavioral and cognitive techniques without the expense involved in paying a psychotherapist week after week and month after month.

In a very real sense, taking action is the best panic attack drug that exists.

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