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J Can Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2009 August; 18(3): 262–263.
PMCID: PMC2732736

The Millon Inventories Second Edition: A Practitioner’s Guide to Personalized Clinical Assessment Millon, T. and Bloom, C. (Editors). The Guilford Press: New York, NY, 2008. 732 pp. US $85.00.

Reviewed by Emily M. Piper, PsyD, RPsych

The contributors to this multi authored book were primarily psychologists who are experts in research, psychopathology and personality assessment. A comprehensive review of the personality theory behind the Millon Inventories and their specific clinical application is extensive and detailed, inclusive of use within the practices of assessment and psychotherapy. Specifically, a review of historical tradition and definition as it pertains to personality successfully linked salient components of each to one another. The introduction ensured that the reader is fully versed in the working definition of personality, and the rationale for assuming this to be the foundation behind this measure. Additionally, history of the development of the Millon Inventories over time is provided, reassuring the reader that revisions have been made to keep pace with contemporary expectations and standards of assessment.

A most noteworthy contribution of this edition seemed to be the reoccurring emphasis on the ability for the assessment information to seamlessly transfer and be of benefit to applied therapy. Thus, one end goal of priority is specific to the formulation of a personalized therapeutic approach, from the accomplished skill of creating a meaningful (“personalized”) assessment. An in depth discussion of all variables to consider when attempting to link personality assessment and therapy is included, whereby issues surrounding diagnosis and the ongoing debate of the usefulness of the DSM system, in addition to the wide range of psychotherapy theories.

This edition was particularly useful in providing extensive reviews of each aspect of the Millon Inventory, within one condensed source. Thorough case studies were inserted to demonstrate the application of the different variation of the measure. The reader is further enlightened by the utility of the Inventories across age groups and populations, and the expansion of this measure since its year of origin (1969). The reviewer was impressed by the number of different populations this measure has been normed and suited for. Thus, the forensic, neuropsychological, substance abusing, elderly, couples, pre-adolescent, adolescent and college populations were included, to name but a few. Additionally, an introductory review of the Millon Index of Personality Styles Revised (MIPS) is included, which is a scale devised for use with normally functioning adults, including “motivating, thinking and behaving” scales. This scale is described as being particularly useful in organizational settings, for employee screenings.

As the reviewer is a psychologist within a children’s hospital setting, the Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory (MACI) and the Millon Pre-Adolescent Clinical Inventory (M-PACI) chapters were especially informative and worthy of notation. The presentation of these particular measures was convincing, with ample elaboration and definition. The reviewer appreciated the discussion of the evolution of personality in pre-adolescent children, recognizing the limitations of this concept, and yet providing an empirically robust measure that seemed to significantly enhance the psychosocial/emotional assessment of children within this age group. Similarly, the importance in addressing that these measures are best suited for youth presenting in mental health settings (versus schools, for example) seemed to be a critical and necessary distinction.

Throughout this edition, the reviewer fully appreciated the depth included in each chapter with regard to the evolution and development of this extensive group of measures. Cautionary statements specific to the use of computer generated reports were reassuring. A general review was also included, emphasizing test security, and regulated professional qualifications required for test administration. Overall, this edition seems to serve a purpose of providing the practitioner/scientist with a condensed version of many assessment manuals.

Chapters specific to how to incorporate the data gleaned from the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI) into treatment planning were also of benefit. Additionally, the text reviewed how the MCMI is being used in different cultures, with respective languages. It seems that this step, in particular, is of necessity, if an end goal is to provide a measure that can extend beyond the North American borders. This type of goal is synchronous with contemporary globalization.

It is the reviewer’s hope that the future of the Millon Inventories could continue with this momentum. Specifically, when working within a culturally diverse world, where differences in language and specific cultural nuances must be considered, the challenge for true globalization of a personality measure may be the next step for the Millon Inventories. This would seem to support the common thought throughout the text, whereby the reader is reminded of the limitations of a DSM diagnosis, in isolation, and more specifically, the dangers of depending on this diagnosis for treatment planning. Specifically, the authors speak to the need to understand personality theory and assessment within a much larger framework, where the focus was on individuality and the complexity of personality within human nature. This text seems an invaluable resource for psychologists and/or other assessment specialists working within a variety of mental health settings.

Articles from Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry are provided here courtesy of Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry