Within the discipline of affect/script theory, we view as scripts the systems through which individuals learn to manage their affective lives. I forget whether it was Tomkins or I who suggested that the old language of Stimulus-Response Pairs had to be replaced by the concept of Stimulus-Affect-Response Sequences (what I have called SARS for the purpose of discussion), simply because no stimuus triggers a response unless and until it first triggers an affect. Caroline was brought up in a family that taught her little about affect management---parents used drugs to quell negative affect, she learned to use such mechanisms as drugs, alcohol, sexual excitement, and the thrill of danger and recovery to safety as ways of handling negative affect. I've dealt with much of this in the last group of chapters in my book "Shame and Pride: Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self."
Of signal interest here is the observation that personality (as Tomkins mentioned so often) involves the differential magnification of innate affect; i.e. the ways we learn to handle affect determine our character structure. As you worked with Caroline, she got better and better at the task of handling negative affect without resort to her previous systems of management, and at handling positive affect without fearing immediate descent into punishment. Now she found the strength to enjoy her real talents and all the rewards they could bring. Nevertheless, she had no model, no ready script for the management of such experience except what she knew from the lives of her parents. To see herself act in ways analogous to her parents produced self-disgust and shame, making her veer away from the behavior that now became problematic. Actually, I think it was good for her to know that she was capable of being her "bad" self every once in a while just so she could come to believe that she hadn't been locked in the prison of "mental health."
I remember that some years ago my colleague Vick Kelly (a congenital golfer who therefore belongs to a country club) told me that his lovely adolescent daughters informed him with considerable asperity that even though he was going to play golf that Saturday, he was not allowed to visit the club swimming pool on threat of horrible sanctions from them. With great sophistication and aplomb, I answered "huh? Why on earth. . ." He informed me that they were going to the pool in their best new bathing costumes, intended to practice being/looking sexy, were going to try out moves learned from mother and various television progams, and in no way could tolerate his observation of their rehearsal. Every shift we make from one level of maturity to another brings with it the risk of terrible shame as we contemplate the specter of being seen not as our possible best but our much-feared worst.
The SARS involved in growth and development are always ringed with shame. This is one of the reasons psychotherapy helps---when our foibles, failures, and fears are exposed in an atmosphere of love, under the umbrella of acceptance, then exposure brings little shame. Without the assurance of such love, progress is much slower and much more risky.