This article explores the merit of using Organic Inquiry, a qualitative research approach that is most effectively applied to areas of psychological and spiritual growth. Organic Inquiry is a research approach where the psyche of the researcher becomes the instrument of the research, working in partnership with the experiences of participants and guided by liminal and spiritual influences. Organic Inquiry is presented as a unique methodology that can incorporate other non-traditional research methods, including intuitive, autoethnographic and creative techniques. The validity and application of Organic Inquiry, as well as its strengths and limitations are discussed in the light of the author’s recent investigation into the nature of Self.


Practice-Led, Transpersonal Methods, Organic Inquiry, Mindfulness, Buddhism, Creative Research, Embodied Research, Intuitive Research, Self, Understanding Self, Identity, Art, Film, Life Writing, Autoethnography, Consciousness, Transformation

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Larisa Bardsley is a transpersonal, counselling and clinical psychologist. For the past 30 years she has pursued her interest in narratives of transformation through training in creative arts, Jungian and transpersonal psychology, Buddhism, meditation, and mindfulness practice. She is a professional artist, published writer, and for 25 years, a practicing psychologist and registered supervisor of clinicians. Larisa’s PhD research at La Trobe University, Australia creatively explored the nature of self and was awarded the Nancy Millis medal in 2018. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Lara.bardsley@gmail.com.


This investigation was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship as well as financial and academic support from La Trobe University, Department of Creative Arts and English. The author would like to acknowledge Associate Professor Hester Joyce, La Trobe University for her supervision of the PhD investigation from which this article is derived.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.