Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

John Ungerleider, Ed.D.


This paper explores the current state of political left/right division in the United States and explores the use of Motivational Interviewing in “unfreezing” the two sides of this intractable conflict. The author interviewed four people (two conservatives and two liberals) as well as surveyed over one hundred and fifty respondents in an online survey exploring this theme. While the two sides differ in many ways, the evidence seems to show that both sides overwhelmingly admit that there is a problem, that both sides must get better, and that communication would be easier if both sides practiced more reflective listening. This attitude seems to suggest that Motivational Interviewing could be a useful tool in this context.

Keywords: Motivational Interviewing, intractable conflict, conflict transformation, conflict-supporting repertoire, instigating belief, mediating belief, liberal, conservative, United States


American Politics | Civic and Community Engagement | Models and Methods | Political Science | Politics and Social Change | Social Psychology and Interaction