José Aznar runs a gas station-mechanical workshop inherited from his grandfather. His work days are spent between fuel pumps and wrenches. But that only took part of the day: the rest was dedicated to his true vocation, psychotherapy. He says that he helps people with different fears, sadness, feelings of inferiority … and without paying a single coin.
First it’s something more punctual, with friends or family. Gradually he expanded his circle of patients. And since the gas station business gave him enough to live comfortably, he decided to continue receiving free consultations.
The story of how the owner of a gas station one day begins to psychoanalyze people is, in large part, the result of chance. José (Barcelona, 1950) will be a doctor and his dream is to specialize in internal medicine. Since there are not enough MIR places in his hometown, he had to decide, in a few minutes, to take another specialization.
He chose psychiatry, a branch that was not completely foreign to him. Especially from my own experience. While he was in his third year of medicine, he had to ask for professional help to defeat the many monsters that plagued him: sadness, fear, self-demand… He became regular in various therapies that helped him discover -an and understand the different types of methods of using mental health treatment.
When he worked at the Barcelona Clinical Hospital for two years, he had the option of running a gas station owned by his grandfather and which, when he died, passed into the hands of his mother. He accepted, but did not reject his passion: psychotherapy.
Those were the times when visiting a mental health specialist was still stigmatized. He placed an ad in ‘La Vanguardia’ offering his services and was surprised by the number of people interested in visiting his office. Because, yes, therapy should always be face-to-face -it’s at home-. And it’s free.
José assures that he understands the suspicion that this will arouse in his professional colleagues, but he will never pay the 100 or 150 euros that consultations of this kind can cost. Another non-negotiable condition is that their patients come “without taboos”, that they are ready to “get to know each other” and work “toward happiness.”
Their patient profile varies greatly in terms of age and economic position, although the most normal thing is that they do not have a lot of financial resources. There are more or less equal numbers of men and women, but almost all of them come for some kind of neurosis. Patients with psychopathies are more rare, and they should always undergo psychiatric treatment.
A year later he presented a book, titled ‘The Being and the Ego. A road to light’, where he recounts some of his professional experiences. He is also active on social networks. “Doctor altruistic psychotherapist. He gives free psychotherapies to people who are interested in finding themselves happier. This is how he presents himself on Instagram, where he publishes small videos, just three minutes long, which always starts like this: “Hello dear friends, today I will talk to you about a topic…”.