How CFR Therapy Changed a Life and Inspired a Powerful Art Series

February 7, 2022

If you live or work in Philadelphia, then you probably recognize the work of area artist Amberella. Her hearts can be found all over the city with short, yet powerful messages like “YOU ARE NOT ALONE.”

Amberella began her series Power Hearts after coming out of a toxic relationship and starting to see a therapist at Council for Relationships (CFR). She asked us to share her story in appreciation for the counseling services that CFR provides to all in need, regardless of ability to pay.


Throughout the pandemic many people are feeling isolated and in need of mental health support, you are not alone. CFR provides quality therapy for all, regardless of ability to pay. We help people from all walks of life improve their important relationships by providing exemplary therapy, educating and training clinicians in the family systems approach, and advancing the mental health field through research. Find out more about our shared impact and how your support can provide high-quality care for underserved communities.

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Amberella x CFR

How were you connected with CFR?

A friend recommended CFR to me at a time when I didn’t know which end was up.

I contacted CFR and heard back quickly. I remember calling and saying “I think I’m coming out of a toxic relationship but I’m not even sure. I think I need help.”

I was so beat down emotionally, a shell of myself, afraid, uncertain – I had lost my shine, strength, and worth. It was like I couldn’t even process what had been going on.

I’ve had several random conversations with very influential women throughout this city who have time and time again said that “CFR saved my life, it saved ME.” It’s always a surprise to hear from someone you admire as a powerful figure that they too have had times of weakness. Everyone has and does. You are not alone.

What did you like about working with your CFR therapist?

It was a safe place where I could share any and all of my feelings with someone who not only cared about my well-being but helped me recognize, organize, and process those feelings. We talked about how to navigate really hard situations that arose.

I’ve known my therapist since 2016 and I loved her so much that I followed her after she moved away from the city. We now work on an as needed basis.

I feel the healthiest emotionally than I have ever felt in my life. I’m so grateful to her and to CFR.

How did seeing a CFR therapist help you?

A CFR therapist listened to everything.

A CFR therapist helped me recognize abuse.

A CFR therapist helped me figure out how to stay away from the abuser.

A CFR therapist helped me regain my self-worth.

A CFR therapist accepted me back even after I faltered and went back to the abuser.

A CFR therapist helped me to recognize why.

A CFR therapist encouraged me to keep going.

A CFR therapist gave me tools and counseling to break a cycle.

A CFR therapist tracked my progress.

A CFR therapist held me accountable.

A CFR therapist taught me about healthy relationships.

A CFR therapist brought my shine back — brighter.

A CFR therapist helped me save myself.

I am powerful. I am worthy. I am resilient. I am happy. I am confident. I am healthy. I am enough.

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What would you tell someone who is considering scheduling a therapy appointment with CFR?

Make the call. Stop putting it on your “TO DO” list every day. CFR makes getting an appointment seamless. The hardest part is making the call; please push yourself to do it. You are your biggest asset. Without a healthy you, other things falter.

There is help available and what better place than one that so many people in our city rave over. I’ve yet to meet a current or former client who didn’t have something extraordinary to say about CFR. Thank you CFR, Philly loves you!

How has going to therapy influenced your art?

As I began therapy, I began a new body of work called POWER HEARTS. These paper hearts have phrases of encouragement, self-love, and positivity within them. I place them around the city in places that I frequent as reminders to myself to “KEEP GOING,” “YOU GOT THIS,” “YOU CAN,” “YOU ARE NOT ALONE,” to name a few. These hearts exist in public spaces. I hope that others enjoy them too and can relate them to their own lives and journeys.

We thank Amberella for asking us to share her story! To keep up with Amberella, you can follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

You can choose to support mental health and share in our impact by donating here or using #YouAreNotAlone on social media.

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