Most people misunderstand the concept of patterns. This is probably mostly due to the Design Patterns book by Gamma, Helm, Johnson and Vlissides, which only conveys parts of what patterns can actually express and what they can be used for. People who know "better" languages know that most of the design patterns in that book can be much easier expressed, such that they virtually go away. However, that's not the "fault" of the patterns concept, that's rather a problem with that book, in that quite boring patterns have been selected.
A much better book is "Object-Oriented Reengineering Patterns" by Demeyer, Ducasse and Nierstrasz. In my opinion, it is probably the best book about (software-related) patterns that has been published so far. The good news is that the book is now freely available for download, so check it out.