It is very telling that Harold is so uncomfortable with a historical review of his past, especially since he is a Ph.D. psychologist whom we assume must have some appreciation of the value of understanding and resolving issues arising from childhood. This suggests that Harold has not dealt with much of his past in spite of his profession.
It is not yet clear from Don's history exactly why Harold is so reluctant about his past. There are a number of hints, but none that yet correlate with what I believe is a damaged ability to perceive and deal with his own emotions on a regular basis. For instance, I suggested in my previous post about this case that Harold has a saving script. This script allows him to deal with his own affect by not dealing with it. Instead, he sets his sights on the problems of others, administrative as well as psychological, and works on those problems long and hard. In this script, the emotional difficulties of others become his. This is what Tomkins called an affect control script whereby Harold manages his own affect by maintaining a focus on the affect of others rather than his own. This deflected awareness of his affect causes Harold to be somewhat blind to the goings on within his own inner world. It is most likely this script and satellite scripts from it that have prevented Harold from recognizing and dealing with unresolved things in his life, whether those things are related to his childhood or his years of marital unhappiness.
So far what we know of Harold's relationship with his mother suggests that he identified with her negative affect and her scripts as a "very unselfish person. Someone you could talk to—intelligent sensitive, sacrificed herself to the family." I believe he became a caretaker of his mother's affect, especially since she could be hurt so easily and her husband seemed impervious to her feelings; and this caretaker role formed the basis of his career choice. Since Harold's mother seems to have been long suffering with her husband and unable to help herself deal with her negative affect, it is not surprising that Harold has difficulty dealing with his negative affect. It seems that he may have never learned how to notice what he was feeling, attend to those feelings, and make the adjustments necessary to reduce negative affect or turn negative affect into positive.
Harold's scripts do not always work properly. It is not clear why they unravel from time to time, but it is clear that they do. A decade before consulting Don, he had a distressing bout with physical symptoms that sent him to a series of doctors, none of whom could determine exactly what was wrong with him. I suspect the shortness of breath and contracting stomach he experienced at that time were triggered by intense negative affect that was overwhelming his normal scripts for keeping it controlled and hidden. Just before seeing Don his defenses weakened further, and he went through a new group of medical examinations. He also found his temper leaping out of control with his heart pounding and unaccustomed verbal tirades.
If I were Harold's therapist, I would be delighted that his scripts were showing signs of breaking down because it offers Harold the opportunity and the motivation to learn about his internal emotional world for the first time. He needs to learn to recognize what he feels the moment he feels it and then develop scripts for helping himself. If he learns to do that effectively, then he will also be a better therapist for others.