Exactly. It only works if you have choices that are safe and practical. I was lucky on that score and the phrase helped me think "Why am I still here when I can go somewhere else?". It broke the mental stranglehold he had on me and allowed me to bring all options to the fore to be examined, rather than just the one I had been living with, which was to stay and try and get him to change. Well, it contributed to my thinking, rather than being the sole cause.
Yes, empowering. Big self-help term and not reflective of reality in the main.