Beverly Hills Therapy Group
(248) 480-0115

Journeying with Clients Who are Chronically Ill

Claudia Schwenzer

Claudia Schwenzer, LLMSW:

Chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and heart disease challenge many families daily. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), six in ten adults in America have a chronic disease, and four in ten have two or more. Chances are each of us is currently touched by chronic disease in some way. This can impact more than just physical health, taking a real toll not only on an individual but also on their families.

Claudia Schwenzer graduated from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor with her Master’s degree in Social Work, and joined Beverly Hills Therapy Group last fall as a full time therapist.  While she helps adolescents and adults with general mental health counseling in such areas as anxiety, depression, life transitions, and relationships, she has devoted her professional life to helping people find ways to manage the stress of their chronic diseases. Her passion for her work shows in her dedication to her clients every day. 

When did you decide that you wanted to become a therapist?

“I have always wanted to work in a healing space for folks managing chronic conditions. Over the course of my career, I have worked in different capacities in this effort, including research, advocacy, education, and now finally as a therapist. In the Spring of 2021, I changed roles from providing dementia education to a role as a care counselor, providing support to caregivers of people living with dementia. I decided to become a mental health therapist after connecting therapy modalities to the daily management of chronic conditions. I saw how these therapies strengthen coping strategies and build resilience.”

What kind of client is your specialty most able to help?

“My practice is most able to help folks experiencing anxiety, depression, and burnout resulting from management of chronic conditions or other life and physical transitions. Having a background in dementia care as a caregiver and counselor, I am also equipped to help caregivers or family members of people living with dementia with their mental health concerns and caregiving needs.”

What about your own experiences do you feel helps you most in your work with others?

“Throughout my career, the people I have worked with have truly been models of patience, conscientiousness, care, and accommodation. I draw considerably on their example in my work; they taught me the importance and power of our words and self-reflection in a career meant to support people. Additionally, my own experiences with chronic disease and disability led me to learn about disability theories and accessibility, which informs my practice.”

If someone is struggling with their health concerns, where do you start in your work with them?

“The first step for me is learning about what that person is currently working on in their health management. I emphasize that folks who have been managing their chronic condition are experts in their own health and how they are feeling, physically and mentally. They have much to teach me and other professionals about what they can expect with their health and what their day-to-day looks like. I always start with that foundation and follow up with an effort to understand their goals for their mental and physical health.”

Claudia  manages her own 20-year journey with diabetes alongside her husband (also diabetic). She has combined her personal experience with a strong educational background including diabetes research, illness management, and diabetes burnout treatment, as well as advocacy and education for affordable insulin. She is a proud supporter of the #insulin4all movement and its efforts.

If you are interested in working with Claudia, please call us at 248-480-0115, or email us at, and our scheduler will assist you in scheduling a consultation call or setting up an appointment. Additionally, you can request an appointment through our website.

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