The Embodied Self and Catherine’s Books

Embodied Self-Regulation- 
Catherine Cook-Cottone, Ph.D., R.Y.T.


Embodied Self-regulation is choosing who you are and your relationship with your world– one embodied moment at a time.


 Catherine’s wellness research focuses on the exploration and validation of the Attunement Model of Wellness and Embodied Self-Regulation (see Figure 1 below). The self is viewed as an integration of thoughts, emotions, and physiological needs within the context of the external ecologies of family, community and culture. A healthy self develops when an individual embodies practices that promote health and growth and the external ecologies are attuned with and support these practices (or the individual has learned tools to self-regulate despite external ecologies).



Citation for the model: Cook-Cottone, C. P. (2006). The attuned representation model for the primary prevention of eating disorders: An overview for school psychologists. Psychology In The Schools, 43(2), 223-230.


The model is well explicated in three places (1) Cook-Cottone (2006), “The attuned representation model for the primary prevention of eating disorders: An overview for school psychologists,” published in Psychology in the Schools (PITS), (2) Healthy Eating in Schools: Evidenced Based Strategies to Help Kids Thrive and (3) Girls Growing in Wellness and Balance: Yoga and Life Skills to Empower. 


The Attunement Model of Wellness and Embodied Self-Regulation is an interactive model of two systems: the self system and the cultural system (see Figure 1).


The self system is made up of three potentially integrated and transactive components that co-evolve throughout an individual’s development: (a) the physiological self (i.e., body), (b) emotional self (i.e., feeling), and (c) cognitive self (i.e., thinking). The self system is an internal system experienced by the individual as his or her Real Self.


The external system is modeled after Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model (1979) and is also made up of three potentially integrated and transactional systems: (a) the microsystem (e.g., family), (b) exosystem (e.g., community), and (c) the macrosystem (e.g., culture).


The two systems are interconnected by a process: attunement. Based on Siegel’s (1999) theoretical work, attunement is defined as a reciprocal process of mutual influence and coregulation. Internal system (i.e., Real Self) and external system attunement is facilitated by the Representational Self. The Representational Self is the constructed self that is presented to the external system. It is the way individuals engage with their environment; how they interact with their families, people at their schools, and individuals in their communities.” (Cook-Cottone, 2006, PITS).


Catherine’s Books

Girls Growing in Wellness and Balance: Yoga and Life Skills to Empower, Cook-Cottone, Kane, Keddie, & Haugli


 This is the first published counseling prevention program to use yoga as one of the primary methods for promoting health and wellness among developing girls. This program is designed to teach girls how to live healthy and balanced lives that nurture the whole self by learning how to problem solve with both thoughts and feelings. Over the course of 10 years, the authors developed and refined this program in schools, after-school programs, yoga studios, and summer programs. Based on an adapted, preventative form of cognitive-behavioral and dialectic behavioral therapy for youth, this program is composed of 14 easy-to-follow, group sessions that integrate ideas, activities, and yoga for girls ages 9 – 18. Yoga is an important part of this program for developing children and adolescents because yoga practices promote psychological health by teaching coping skills and self-regulation. The manual has detailed descriptions of the yoga poses, and the CD-ROM includes photos that illustrate each pose. The accompanying CD-ROM also contains all of the student worksheets for reproduction.
Healthy Eating in Schools: Evidence-based Interventions to Help Kids Thrive

Cook-Cottone, Tribole, & Tylka


School-based interventions that target obesity in children often have little positive effect and may inadvertently contribute to unhealthy behaviors in the attempt to lose weight. This book provides a conceptual model for understanding both obesity and eating disordered behaviors. Specifically, it advocates for body acceptance and intuitive eating a flexible, healthy eating behavior involving awareness of the body s hunger and satiety cues. Within this context, the chapters review evidence-based school interventions in nutrition, self-regulation, exercise, body acceptance, media literacy, and mindfulness. Guidance is also provided for identifying, referring, and supporting students with emerging eating disorders.

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