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Book Dr. Kathy

Authentic Life

Posted on: October 27th, 2016 by Nancy Matheis , Comments Off on Authentic Life

ALL ABOUT: Authentic Life!


Celebrate Kids, Inc. and EvanTell,
Offer Authentic Life Training

Core Needs Focused Pregnancy Center Evangelism Training

At the recent Care Net National Pregnancy Center Conference, Dr. Kathy Koch, PhD., founder and President of Celebrate Kids, Inc. and Mary Margaret Gibson, Ministry Director of EvanTell’s Save the Mother, Save her Child (SMSC) formally launched Authentic Life.  Authentic Life training is focused on each person’s core needs and combined with Evantell’s evangelism training, will expand and enrich a center’s abilities to serve millennial women, men, and families.

Understanding Core Needs is a profound key to personal understanding. The longing for healthy security, identity, belonging, purpose, and competence are common to all people – built into us by a loving God who longs for us to satisfy our deepest needs in relationship with Him. Absent a relationship with God, people struggle in the world, often choosing inappropriate or unhealthy behaviors in the hope of satisfying these deep needs.

Dr. Koch’s book, Finding Authentic Hope and Wholeness, describes the Core Needs in detail  and is the reference resource for Authentic Life.  The illustration below shows that our core needs relate to important life issues, and to each other.



Authentic Life training enables informed, transparent, “heart connection” communication with people who may struggle with one of these issues and need emotional, physical, and spiritual support.

In circumstances where serious conversation may be awkward for a person, discussing core needs helps a client think about why she or he may have chosen inappropriate ways to meet deep needs.  Conversation can lead to a presentation of the Gospel based on her stated need, in a way that she can relate it to her life. The grace of non-judgmental conversation can lead to important spiritual and emotional topics and decisions.  To support these topics, Evantell has created unique Authentic Life evangelism and discipleship materials and tools which align with the  needs of millennial clients (ages 18-34), and the younger upcoming generation.

This program is available for purchase from  our online store here.

Full explanation of program curriculum AuthenticLife ExplanationForPurchaseUpdated4-3-17

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More on 5 Core Needs

Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments


When teaching second graders, Kathy saw up close and personal how family dysfunction, mixed messages, obsessions with competition, no self-confidence, and the lack of social skills, negatively affected children. Of course, she knew troubled children existed; that’s one reason she was motivated to become a teacher. But her first experiences with 28 of them in one room all day for 180 days taught her a lot and concerned her deeply.

What worked to increase one student’s confidence didn’t work on another. Some students wanted her to call their parents when they were well behaved. Others didn’t want her to. Some were helped by positive praise. Some seemed afraid of it. Some didn’t want to practice math facts or spelling words because “It wont help.” They had already given up and they were just in second grade!

Being a natural cause-effect, comparison-contrast thinker, Kathy began thinking about underlying and hidden causes for beliefs and behaviors when changing none of the obvious and observable things made a difference. She investigated topics like this while earning her Ph.D. and continued to think, read, and teach about the importance of uncovering hidden unmet needs in order to permanently affect children’s behaviors when serving as a Professor.

After studying other models; prevention programs for drugs, alcohol, and teen sex; and teaching about her beliefs, she developed the Authentic Answers Model and has been teaching it ever since.

Dr. Kathy believes all of us have five core needs that must be met. Ideally, they’re met in healthy ways, but when that doesn’t happen, people will choose to meet them in unhealthy ways because they must be met. The order of the specific needs is significant because the links between them are key to problem solving.

Security: Who can I trust? Healthy security is possible when I learn to:

  • discern who I can rightly place my security in,
  • reestablish security after disappointments,
  • trust myself to be right and do right even when no one is looking, and
  • not place my security in things.

By establishing trustworthy character and listening to people who I know have my best interests in mind, I can establish a solid identity.

Identity: Who Am I? Healthy identity is possible when it is:

  • accurate – honest, current, and consisting of strengths and weaknesses,
  • complete – I’m aware of my intellectual, emotional, social, character qualities, physical, and spiritual self, and
  • open to change – I must be willing to change my attitude toward the unchangeable things about me I don’t particularly like and I must be willing to work on changing those things I can.

When I develop my positive character and know I’m growing, I’ll have increased self-security. When I know who I am and I’m comfortable being who I am, I’ll develop healthy belonging by attracting more friends and being a better friend to others. If I only know my weaknesses and/or my identity is not healthy, solid belonging will be a challenge. I’ll either not have enough quality friendships to support me or I’ll only relate to people with similar unhealthy characteristics.

Belonging: Who Wants me? Healthy belonging is possible when it is found in:

  • trustworthy people,
  • interests, talents, and strengths, and
  • differences (especially for high schoolers and adults).

When I’m connected with sound people of good character, I’ll know even more about myself as they affirm me and help me grow by lovingly making me aware of my blind spots. In this way, belonging influences identity. Doing the same for them will help me believe I have purpose as I come to understand the benefits of community and serving others.

Purpose: Why am I alive? Healthy purpose is possible when we have:

  • hope in our circumstance and in our tomorrows,
  • people to serve because we were created to leave the world a better place and that’s most effectively done by investing in others, and
  • direction so we can determine how we can uniquely serve successfully.

When we know we’re alive to positively influence the world, we’ll want to develop relationships that matter. We’ll also be motivated to develop skills, attitudes, and beliefs relevant to the ways we want to leave the world a better place. A healthy purpose is very related to motivation, perseverance, resiliency, and personal growth.

Competence: What do I do well? Healthy competence is:

  • not the same as perfection; it’s having the ability to be and do what we need to be and do;
  • not based on comparing ourselves with others; people need their own competence that fits their own purpose; and
  • found in specific skills and qualities and in the general and important skills of decision making, problem solving, thinking skills, and study strategies.

When we work to develop our competencies, we’ll have more belief we have purpose and more confidence in our ability to fulfill it. We’ll also gain security in those who helps us and in ourselves to be able to do what we need to do.

Authentic Hope

As long as Dr. Kathy can remember, she has known that people need hope. Some give up searching for it and others find counterfeit hope that eventually disappoints them. Kathy found her “Authentic Hope” when she responded to the Holy Spirit’s leading and trusted Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as her Savior and Lord. She founded Celebrate kids, Inc., as an obedient response to His definite leading. She loves teaching others about Him.

Dr. Kathy’s first book, “Finding Authentic Hope and Wholeness: Five Questions That Will Change Your Life,” presents the Christian version of the “Authentic Answers” Model. When speaking in churches and at Christian events, she includes how God meets our needs. In public school presentations, she obviously does not.

Kathy believes God completely and wonderfully meets our core needs in His ways and in His timing. For example, here, are brief answers to the questions that define each need:

Security: Who can I trust? I can trust God. He does not lie, His Word is true, He is always able and available to help, and he Forgives me and loves me no matter what. I can trust Jesus Christ because He was willing to die for me and I can trust the Holy Spirit who comforts me.

Identity: Who am I? I am someone God loves, I am complete in Christ, chosen, created in His image, and someone Jesus Christ died for!

Belonging: Who wants me? Because of my faith in Jesus Christ, I belong to God. He wants me because of who He is, not because of what I do.

Purpose: Why am I alive? I am alive to glorify God through who I am and through what I do.

Competence: What do I do well? I can do anything well God asks me to do with His strength, power, energy, love, and wisdom working in me through the Holy Spirit.

Everyone involved in Celebrate Kids believes in and lives out the above truths.

You can learn more about the Authentic Hope Model at the website for Dr. Kathy’s book: Authentic Hope.

Order Finding Authentic Hope and Wholeness: 5 Questions That Will Change Your Life

DVD Handout

Example filled in Action Plan

Sample lies for Action Plan Sample of Lies for Action Plan


Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Who Do I Trust?

How would children and teens you know answer this key question representing our need for security? How would you like them to be able to answer it? How do you answer it?

Children/Teens need to be able to trust themselves to do the right things right even when no one is looking. They must know a standard for right from wrong and be taught how and why to live it. This is best and easiest when there are many trustworthy adults and peers in their lives who they can depend on during good times and bad.

We caution young people about putting security in things like their reputation, grades, looks, and popularity. We teach about three dimensions of security: being trustworthy so others can put their security in us, finding and depending on people we can trust, and self-security. Therefore, we provide motivation and instruction related to being consistent, dependable, responsible, honest, and discerning. We’ll also cover how and why to rebuild trust when necessary.

Teens and children without healthy security tend to be excessively shy, exhibit fears and nervous symptoms, and resent and challenge authority.


Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Who Am I?

How would children and teens you know answer this key question representing our need for identity? How would you like them to be able to answer it? How do you answer it?

Identity is the key to our behavior – who we think we are is who we will be. Therefore, it’s very important. Everyone’s identity should be current, accurate (the question is not “Who was I?), complete (e.g., based on more than our appearance), and more positive than negative (we must know our weaknesses that could be improved). We teach about positive self-talk, complimenting and correcting others, and the process of change. We include information about positive identities (e.g., we’re one-of-a-kind unique miracles and smart in many ways). We’ll include cautions about listening to the wrong people and being controlled by a past-tense, incomplete, too negative, or inaccurate identity.

Teens and children without healthy identity tend to exhibit a variety of negative behaviors. They give excuses, blame others, deny responsibility, are very sensitive to criticism, put others down, bully others, and might cry with little reason.


Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Who Wants Me?

How would children and teens you know answer this key question representing our need for belonging? How would you like them to be able to answer it? How do you answer it?

Children/Teens who have healthy friendships with peers and adults are certainly better off than those who don’t. Relationships within the family are especially important. Therefore, we talk about how to communicate with and live well with family members. Instruction also includes information about friendship skills (i.e., self-evaluation, initiating and responding to interactions, choosing friends, maintaining relationships, appropriately ending relationships when necessary, and resolving conflicts), friendship levels (i.e., acquaintance, attraction, casual, close, intimate, and mature), and responsibilities of group membership (e.g., listening not dominating, compromising when appropriate, teachability). Cautions include equating being alone with loneliness, conditional love (as compared to unconditional love), and succumbing to peer pressure and doing what you don’t want to do just to belong.

Kids without healthy belonging usually appear to be lonely and have few friends. They tend to isolate themselves from others, avoid group activities, share infrequently, get in trouble through others, tease others, act silly, show off, and boast or brag excessively.


Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Why Am I Alive?

How would children and teens you know answer this key question representing our need for purpose? How would you like them to be able to answer it? How do you answer it?

A lack of purpose is a leading cause of suicide so meeting this need in healthy ways is very important. For instance, teens who don’t know why they’re alive don’t care what their future holds or if they die prematurely. Therefore, they don’t care if their day-to-day decisions are wise or unwise. In fact, if they have no reason to live, they may choose unhealthy and unwise actions. This is further evidence that simply giving teens information about the dangers of alcohol and drugs isn’t enough. They must want to live in order to apply what they’ve been taught.

In our instruction, we regularly refer to teen’s positive qualities (i.e., identity), people depending on them (i.e., belonging), and things they can do to positively impact the world (i.e., purpose). We stress prioritizing and serving others because when we get our eyes off ourselves and choose to make a positive difference in the world, our entire perspective can change. We talk about being optimistic toward oneself, others, and the future. We teach about encouragement vs. discouragement and hope vs. despair.

Kids without healthy purpose usually use little or no effort, flit from one activity to another, don’t complete much of their work, and need adult supervision. Work that is completed is often sloppy. Excellence isn’t important to them. They get discouraged with little or no reason, complain of boredom, miss the point of assignments, and frequently ask, “Why do we have to do this?” (“What’s the value of school?”)


Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

What Do I Do Well?

How would children and teens you know answer this key question representing our need for competence? How would you like them to be able to answer it? How do you answer it?

Competence – having sufficient means to do what’s necessary – is our last core need. We don’t need to be perfect, although some people are never satisfied unless they are. We do have a need to be competent, though. Without the first four core needs met, competence is, at best, challenging and often isn’t possible at all. Therefore, the solution for many children, teens, and adults who lack competence – who are apathetic, satisfied with average performances, disengaged from life – is to shore up the first four needs. Meet them in healthy ways, and competence is more likely and more possible.

We also teach skills that allow children/teens to be and feel more competent, such as decision making, problem solving, seeking wise counsel, and self-comparison instead of comparing ourselves to others. Learning to benefit from past mistakes is also relevant. Lesson about our multiple intelligences and study strategies are sometimes included.

Kids without healthy competence usually exhibit high dependence on adults, have difficulty making decisions, and are afraid to take risks. They need constant praise, worry over grades and the future, believe luck determines success, are cynical about school and life, discouraged about their progress, and believe there’s no point in trying.

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